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  • 2020 Leadership FMWF Community Change Initiatives unveiled

  • 2020 Leadership FMWF Community Change Initiatives unveiled

    2020 Leadership FMWF Community Change Initiatives unveiled

    In May, the Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo class wrapped up the program with a final virtual presentation on leading with integrity and trust from Ole Rygg, Corporate Elements. Please help congratulate each of this year’s participants!

    The class also unveiled their Community Change Initiatives (CCI) projects. These CCIs apply and reinforce the skills and insights gained throughout the program while allowing participants a chance to envision, develop and bring to fruition real and lasting community change in collaboration with others.

    Adulting 101
    Lindsey Cernik, Border States Electric; Naomi Disrud, Houston Engineering; James Hand, Construction Engineers; Robert Hoffman, Doosan Bobcat; Anna Sather, YMCA; Jake Whiting, First International Bank & Trust

    The Adulting 101 group had a blast creating a class series in partnership with the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties. The series is intended for young adults who are seeking basic skills to become more responsible and self-sufficient individuals who handle life’s little needs and emergencies with skill and purpose. Some young people move away from home or out of campus housing only to find that they lack some of the basic skills they need to “make it” on their own, so Adulting 101 decided to focus on the following four categories: financial skills, professional skills, domestics skills and survival/safety skills. Due to COVID-19, our monthly class series, which was supposed to launch in March, was cancelled, but Adulting 101 was still able to launch the class 'virtually' in May with a handful of eager participants.

    Autism Activity Group
    Matt Bushard, Bell Bank; Brian Kingsley, Microsoft; Chuck Lang, Sanford; Rammie Olson, Bremer Bank; Bruce Powlish, Gate City Bank

    In the Autism Activity group, we set out to create events in the Fargo-Moorhead area where high functioning autistic children could meet with other autistic children of similar functional levels. This would provide a safe and fun environment to play, participate in meaningful activities, and provide much-needed socialization opportunities. Parents could also meet, talk, obtain social support and learn about other resources in the community for their children. With help from the Anne Carlson center, Four Star Ninja and local businesses, we were able to host a successful event before COVID-19 didn’t allow us to continue holding the other two that were planned. The North Dakota Autism center is working to create an environment for this in the future, so be on the lookout!

    Ban the Bag
    Evan Balko, Impact Foundation; Abbey Benson, Eagle Ridge Companies; Darin Feir, The Chamber; Jessica Jackson, Alerus Bank; Scottie Knollin, CoreLink Administrative Solutions; Kriss Martz, Cardinal IG

    Ban the Bag’s mission is to raise awareness to support reducing and reusing plastic bags here in the FMWF metro. Because each city has different rules around recycling and garbage collection, they are setting out to educate our community on what really happens with the items set out for collection and what practices look like in other cities. While a shopping bag collection and reusable bag distribution event was planned around Earth Day, the group is hopeful they can host something this summer. Follow them online at facebook.com/BanTheBagFMWF.

    Care Seats
    Sarah Fuchs, Anne Carlsen Center; Megan Grote, Dabbert Custom Homes; Chris Helmick, Fargo Police Department; Ashely Mitchell. YWCA; Steve Sjoberg, Cass County Electric

    Care Seats focus is on providing car seats to families that may not be able to afford them. Through fiscal sponsorship with the Dakota Medical Foundation and in partnership with Safe Kids Fargo-Moorhead, Care Seats will use donations to purchase a supply of car seats. In turn, Care Seats will provide vouchers to several community partners that can be given to families in need. Those families will be able to redeem their voucher for a free car seat at Safe Kids. The hope is that no family in the community will have to sacrifice child safety for financial reasons.

    Healthy Cooking Club
    Jess Azure, Beyond Realty; Dan Macintosh, Brady Martz; Ashley Manly, Limelight Builders; Mandy Zastre, Rasmussen; McKenzy Olson, EPIC Management; AJ Sitzer, Union Bank

    Healthy Cooking Club was created ensure that the healthy food distributed by our area food banks was not wasted. The Healthy Cooking Club was able to connect Sanford Family Wellness and Boys and Girls Club of the Red River Valley to provide cooking classes to area youth involved in Boys and Girls club. After the completion of the healthy cooking class, individuals who completed the course will receive kitchen kits with all the utensils they need to recreate the meals they learned to cook in the course at home.

    Motivate Me
    Jill Andera, Sterling Management; Ty Day, Wells Fargo; Kristin Gille, Blue Cross Blue Shield ND; Michelle Larson, Discovery Benefits; Brandon Oye, Moore Engineering; Machel Velaski, Park Company Realtors

    Motivate Me teaches children the importance of goal setting, accountability and overcoming obstacles using the SMART goal methodology. Through classroom activities and discussions, students learn how to create a goal, identify steps needed to accomplish their goal, establish a plan for tracking & celebrating progress, identify an accountability buddy and work toward completion of their goal. Volunteers focus on positive reinforcement and encouragement to assist students in identifying and overcoming obstacles as well as celebrating success through process, building the student’s self-esteem as students work toward accomplishing their goal. Motivate Me was able to launch this spring in a 2nd grade classroom at Legacy Elementary!

    Music Integration
    Jenna Bixler, Wanzek; Amber Ertelt, Midwest Radio; Amanda Reil, NDSU Career Center; Anne Schmaltz, Paces Lodging; Erin Stegman, Ulteig

    Music has been proven to increase overall quality of life through increasing memory, cognition, communication, socialization and movement for long-term care residents, while decreasing depression, anxiety and seclusion. Music Integration partnered with Edgewood’s life enrichment director and generous donors throughout the community to provide music playback devices and access to preferred music playlists for memory care unit residents. Using the resident intake forms and known favorites from the staff, the group downloaded playlists for residents to enjoy throughout daily care routines. Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in the Edgewood community, the CCI group will train staff to use the physical music resources, search and download new playlists, and communicate to families about the program.


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