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Meet the helpers, solution generators and change-makers

This year's class of "20 Under 40" award winners include small-business owners, mentors, artists.

One great part of creating the "20 Under 40" section is meeting all of the award winners when they come to DNT HQ (or, in the case of 2020, an open-air outdoor space) for a photo-video shoot. It's a chance to see up close what prompted one or more people to click a link on the News Tribune's website and spend time dishing the goods on, say, Emily Ekstrom, the small-business owner behind Hucklebeary who shifted her store to include curated boxes during the pandemic; Kate Ferguson, who recently became a volunteer firefighter; and Alice Schroeder, who created the theater company Zenith City Horror.

The News Tribune's "20 Under 40" award is given annually to young adults in Northeastern Minnesota who are initiating change, acting on ideas, finding creative solutions and helping other humans. A selection committee that includes News Tribune staff members and former "20 Under 40" winners sift through the nominations and then do the tricky job of narrowing the list to 20 people.

For the second-consecutive year, because of the pandemic, there is no big public celebration, so please remember to give each of these people a friendly elbow bump or hoot of recognition when you see them doing their award-winning thing.

Related Topics: PEOPLE
Christa Lawler is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
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