A program created by the Bush Foundation is giving North Dakota professionals the chance to make a difference in their communities.
Alexus Arthur introduces us to some of the candidates and their mission.
“It’s a year long program and it is a cohort and collaboration program where we learn and develop our leadership skills sets amongst each other.” said Pam Karpenko, Mainstream Boutique Owner.
It’s called the North Dakota Change Network and it’s bringing together 15 unique individuals in order for them to take their goals to the next level.
“I’m just honored to be a part of that group.” said Karpenko.
Pam Karpenko is one of the participants and it’s her goal to empower other female leaders.
We’ll strengthen our platforms and bring that back to our community.” said Karpenko.
Each person that comes, brings a different mission to the table.
“My mission is focused on the children.” said Shannon Schmidt, Caleb’s Clubhouse Executive Director.
Shannon Schmidt recently opened a business called Caleb’s Clubhouse that invites all children to learn and grow.
“It’s inclusive meaning we are for all children of all abilities, and the ND change network just falls right into place with that.” said Schmidt.
For participant, Jessica Ackerman… it’s about creating a better city life.
“I’m looking to put together a project that will include as many people across the community as possible to help impact the greater downtown.” said Jessica Ackerman, Community Member.
There are a variety of ideas and goals.
“It felt like a good time for me to be part of a cohort of people who are also looking to inspire change in their community.” said Ackerman.
“Everyone has different ideas so we can all learn and grow from each other and it’s such an amazing experience to be apart of.” said Schmidt.
With the combination of a 5,000 dollar grant, mentors, and the support from one another, they’ll all have an even greater opportunity to completing their missions. In Minot, Alexus Arthur, KX News.
All the participants will meet throughout the year.
Twelve others in North Dakota have been chosen to be part of the Change Network.
Four from Fargo.
Three from the Bismarck area.
One from Grand Forks and the rest from various rural communities across the state.