ADVANCING REGIONAL ISSUES
North Dakota is a land of opportunity and it is our goal to share those opportunities and help you see them as well.
In 2020, Strengthen ND was one of 29 organizations from across North America selected to receive $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Voices of Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge to support narrative change in rural North Dakota. With our narrative change work, we are building empathy and create acceptance of newcomers, especially newcomers who look differently than and have backgrounds different from the majority of North Dakotans, by rural community members. By highlighting a shared ancestral and/or lived experience of immigrating/migrating to a new country/state for opportunity (i.e. past homesteading heritage of many rural North Dakotans; current migrants and immigrants), our work will change the narrative around newcomers and the three components of economic mobility (autonomy; economic success; being valued in the community). In partnership with AgWeek, we served as messengers for both newcomers and homecomers finding opportunity in North Dakota.
Strengthen ND Invests Nearly $2.28M in Community Solutions across North Dakota
Minot, ND – Through its inaugural grantmaking round for the Creative Community Solutions grantmaking program, which is funded by the Bush Foundation, Strengthen ND has selected 10 organizations to receive $2,275,000 to develop, test, and spread community-driven...
Strengthen ND: Pioneering Solutions Since 2015
When Strengthen ND was started in 2015, we didn’t have a lot. We had no money. We had no clients. No way to make payroll. But what did we have? A whole lot of ambition, optimism, and, most importantly, a willingness to listen and learn. Eventually, months into our...
Finding home 6,000 miles away from home
(AGWEEK) DICKINSON, N.D. — Barnabas Nyaaba has called Dickinson home for the past five years. It’s a lengthy 6,000-mile jaunt from his native country of Ghana, Africa — a move he’s glad he made. “I’m pretty comfortable here. I do see myself staying,” he said. As a...
Couple makes North Dakota home again and finds a deeper connection to community
(AGWEEK) GRANDIN, N.D. — For Amber and Ross Lockhart, North Dakota holds a special place in their hearts. So much so that after the two moved away to Sacramento, it beckoned them back. “It was nice, we loved living out there. It just, something was missing,” Ross...
Kansas City couple builds better life in Bowman, North Dakota
(AGWEEK) BOWMAN, N.D. — During the great recession in 2008, Melinda Padilla Lynch and her husband Matthew were facing challenging times in their hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. Jobs were few and far between, and getting by was becoming harder and harder for the...
Family and sense of home bring Idahoans to Ashley, ND
(AGWEEK) ASHLEY, N.D. — Shane and Carley Peacock knew they wanted to start their own business; they’d been dreaming about it for a long time. But as residents of the fast-growing city of Boise, Idaho, the two knew it’d be an expensive, challenging and risky venture....
Hawaii native becomes ‘small-town treasure’ in rural North Dakota
(AGWEEK) CROSBY, N.D. — North Dakota wasn’t where Jonathan Kauhako expected to live and work. “If you would have told me three years ago I’d be living in North Dakota, doing this, I’d be like sure, right, right,” said Jonathan Kauhako, owner of Hindsite Creations, a...
Pioneer spirit pulls Coloradan to a new life in North Dakota
(AGWEEK) WATFORD CITY, N.D. — Like a modern-day pioneer, Sandy Rieker packed up her family and moved to the country to start a new life. But unlike the early settlers, Rieker and her family headed north, not west, 10 years ago, leaving her native Colorado and landing...
Divide County Journal: Focus on Community
June 1, 2021 - This is the first of a three-part report on a series of discussions held in Divide County to aid future planning and development work by the Divide County Economic Development Council. Read the full article here.
KX News: Someone You Should Know
April 2, 2021 - With small-town North Dakota roots, Warwick-native Megan Laudenschlager is passionate about improving her home state in any way she can. “There’s nothing better than growing up on a farm and living in a small town, graduating with a class of five...