The Resource Training & Solutions Bridge Award

The Resource Training & Solutions' Bridge Award was created to celebrate and highlight member organizations who advance innovative solutions, demonstrate meaningful progress in their community, or who give and advocate for positive change.

Bridge Award criteria:

  1. Member of Resource Training & Solutions
  2. Collaboration with others in an effort to build a “bridge” between their organization and other organizations or groups in their sphere of influence.
  3. New or improved processes, access, or solutions beyond the job description of their organization that meet needs in their area.

2018 Bridge Awards:

Resource Training & Solutions honored Pine County, member since 2002, and East Central Schools, member since 1993, and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe with the Bridge Award for their collaborative work on Project RISE (Restorative Investment for Student Empowerment).

East Central Schools received the award on Monday, November 19, presented by Mark Schmitz, Executive Director, Resource Training and Solutions, at the East Central school board meeting (pictured upper right). Pine County and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe received their awards on Wednesday, December 5, presented by Martha Roth, Member Care Coordinator, Resource Training and Solutions, at the Pine County Commissioners meeting (pictured bottom right).

Project RISE is a partnership put in place to serve kids and families in a way that provides hope by helping students become successful, thriving adults within the community. The project addresses many of the issues that may lead individuals to engage with the criminal justice system. Project RISE is a collaborative, restorative approach in working with these community members that seeks to align services and systems in a better way so that all stakeholders have a sense of ownership and responsibility for youth within the community. The ultimate goal of Project RISE is to build a healthier, stronger community.

Those honored at the East Central School Board Meeting and Pine County Commissioners Meeting for work with Project RISE: Carla Big Bear, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Education Mentor and Office Manager; Katie Draper, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Director of Government Affairs; Andy Almos, East Central Schools Superintendent; Stef Youngberg, East Central High School Principal; Deputy Zak Vork, East Central Schools Resource Officer/Pine County Sheriff’s Office; Dave Minke, Pine County Administrator; Reese Frederickson, Pine County Attorney; Becky Foss, Pine County Health and Human Services Director; Terry Fawcett, Director of Pine County Probation; and Jeff Nelson, Pine County Sheriff

Thank you, Pine County, East Central Schools, and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe for creating a partnership that creates a bridge in our central Minnesota region.

Bridge Award presented to Kanabec CountyResource Training & Solutions honored Kanabec County, member since 2010, and Mora Schools, member since 1991, with the Bridge Award for their work in developing the “Gardening is Science” project.

University of Minnesota Extension Kanabec County Master Gardeners Roberta “Ro” Haight and Valerie Prax developed the program along with Mora Elementary School partners Lois Adams, Curriculum Director, Kayla Thor, fifth grade science teacher, and many faculty and staff. “Gardening is Science” helps Mora third and fifth graders learn the science behind how food grows, how collaboration brings good things to the community, and much more.

Bridge Award presented to Mora SchoolsThe program engages many community partners in collaboration and benefits many, including the Mora Food Shelf and Recovering Hope, an addiction treatment center for women.

Thank you, Kanabec County and Extension Master Gardeners and Mora Schools for creating a partnership that creates a bridge in our Central Minnesota region and beyond.

Right: Kanabec County Extension Master Gardeners received the Bridge Award on August 8, and Mora Schools received the Bridge Award on August 24.


The City of Waite Park, Resource member since 2000, supports Terebinth Refuge with a two-year home donation. Resource Training & Solutions commends the City of Waite Park for this contribution. Thank you, Shaunna Johnson, Dave Bentrud, Mayor Rick Miller, and city council members for creating a partnership with Terebinth Refuge and becoming a bridge in Central Minnesota and beyond!

Above right: Resource Training & Solutions presented the Bridge Award to Kanabec County Extension Master Gardeners on August 8, and to Mora Schools on August 24.

Big Lake Schools, Resource member since 1991, participates in a Youth Apprenticeship Program. Thank you, Steve Westerberg, Bob Dockendorf, and school board members for creating a bridge in your region by offering an innovative, win-win solution for students and local business.

Above right: Mark Schmitz, Resource Training & Solutions (left), and Big Lake Schools board members on Thursday, March 22.
View the Resource Training & Solutions' recognition events and awards photo gallery
Know of Resource member who would be a great candidate for this award? Contact Martha Roth, Membership Coordinator: (320) 255-3236 ext. 314 or