Return to flip book view

Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation | Annual Report 2021

Page 1


Page 2

LLOYD K JOHNSON FOUNDATION | ANNUAL REPORT 20212EXECUTIVE SUMMARYEmbracing Change...As I look back over the many years of serving at the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, I can think of no other year that brought more change than 2021. Of course, we all continued to be challenged by the pandemic and navigating through when to gather, when to mask, and how to plan for the future; but internally here, change was in the air. Beginning mid-year to the end of the year, we said farewell to some of our dedicated board members who had guided our efforts for many years - incredible community members who devoted many hours to the work of the Foundation – Mark Smithson, Ruth Ann Eaton, and Scott Harrison. I will be forever grateful for their time, their wisdom, and their support. They helped to lay a strong foundation for our efforts that will serve our area well into the future. Thank you. As long-term board members finished their tenure in 2021, we gained new voices and new perspectives on the board to guide us towards the future. All of our board members are fully grounded in community and towards making a difference in the lives of those in our service area. What a gift to have: Jeff Stoddard, Rick Smith, Lynn Goerdt, Salaam Witherspoon, and Pete Jeronimus join our work - along with our other wonderful board members: Steve Surbaugh, Susan Michels, Darryl Coons, and Cindy Hansen. The Foundation is in good hands with this experienced board! As board members have changed, so too has the staff at the Foundation. We have expanded Rachel Forsyth’s role beyond her work with our scholarship program, to include community engagement - to better learn from the community about needs and how we can partner to support solutions. We have added two new staff members, Maypakou Ly as Administrative Support Specialist, and Bryce Nixon as Grants Specialist further growing our internal capacity to work with all our nonprofit partners efficiently and effectively. We are truly excited about having this talented team of professionals support the work of the Foundation. As 2021 provided us the opportunity to embrace change, it has also deepened our commitment to the values we hold dear. Partnership. Innovation. Responsiveness. Engagement. Integrity. Respect.Thank you to all our nonprofit partners for the work that you do that changes lives and for your willingness to continue to embrace change.Joa Gardne-GoodnExecutive Director

Page 3

LLOYD K JOHNSON FOUNDATION | ANNUAL REPORT 20213OUR MISSIONThe mission of the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation is to promote access to educational opportunities in Cook County and to improve the quality of life in the North Shore communities of Cook, Lake and Southern St. Louis counties through grantmaking in the areas of Arts and Culture, Community & Economic Development, Education, Environment, and Social Welfare programs to qualified organizations.Stephen Surbaugh, President/CEOSusan Michels, Vice PresidentJeff Stoddard, Treasurer/CFODarryl E. CoonsCindy HansenRick Smith Lynn GoerdtSalaam Witherspoon Pete JeronimusScott Harrison (Treasurer/CFO, 2011-2021)Ruth Ann Eaton (2011- 2021) Mark Smithson (2008 – 2021, Board President 2011 -2020, Vice President, 2020-2021)OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORSOUR STAFFJoan Gardner-GoodnoExecutive Directorjgardner@lloydkjohnsonfoundation.orgBryce NixonGrants Specialistbnixon@lloydkjohnsonfoundation.orgRachel ForsythCommunity Engagement Officerrachel@lloydkjohnsonfoundation.orgMayPakou LyAdministrative Support

Page 4

LLOYD K JOHNSON FOUNDATION | ANNUAL REPORT 20214Caring for Neighbors in NeedAmerican Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO)A true sign of resilience in a community during a pandemic is the activism and compassion of residents who take the initiative to care for fellow neighbors in need. The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) took steps to ensure that basic needs of food and protective equipment reached the most vulnerable in the Duluth community. AICHO prevented the spread of COVID, addressed hunger, and strengthened the community through the distribution of household supplies, personal protective equipment, and food. AICHO’s actions helped over 3,000 households, 2450 unsheltered neighbors, and 350 isolated or quarantined households.In the greatest time of need, AICHO subdued the harm of COVID while instilling faith and dignity within the community.Protecting a Treasured AssetSuperior Hiking Trail AssociationVolunteers are the heart and soul of the Superior Hiking Trail Renewal Program contributing as much as 8,000 hours per year. As its popularity and use increases and the trail comes under pressure with thousands of users and climate challenges each year, the Superior Hiking Trail Association is tasked with ensuring the long-term sustainability and resiliency of the 300-mile trail. The Superior Hiking Trail Association recruits and trains hundreds of volunteers on best practices of natural trail development, how to properly care for this regional asset, and most importantly how to maintain the highest safety standards for people dedicated to working on the trail system. Training of the volunteer base has taken a more creative approach due to COVID precautions with the use of virtual and video tutorials that reach a wider audience, encourage outdoor recreation, promote more small-scale trail projects, and help instill conservation-oriented trail management approach to trail building and maintenance. Photos by Ivy Vainio / Dominic BisognoPreserving a robust volunteer program and trail system go hand-in-hand for the future health and vitality of the Superior Hiking Trail. 2021 GRANTEE STORIES

Page 5

LLOYD K JOHNSON FOUNDATION | ANNUAL REPORT 20215Supporting Positive ProgrammingGrand Portage Band of Lake Superior ChippewaCreating a safe, inviting space for teenagers is critical to self-discovery, developing confidence, and creating a sense of belonging. Indigenous youth in the Grand Portage community have had limited options to engage and socialize in such a space. The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa knows too well the effects of negative influences and too much unsupervised time for young teens. In order to help kids find a positive path forward, the Band members created the Grand Portage Teen Center in 2021 to connect teens to their culture and elders.Local youth now have a safe place to relax, develop healthy relationships with peers and adults, and engage in fun teenage activities. The ability to be comfortable within one’s skin during this stage of adolescence is critical for personal development. The encouraging presence of the Teen Center staff help kids rekindle cultural curiosity in traditional drumming and will continue to foster positive programming for generations to come.Contributing to CommunityFriends of the Finland CommunityIncreasing local food sovereignty has always been a goal of the Friends of the Finland Community. Over time, that has evolved into meeting a greater desire to preserve local cultural roots and practices, as well as to positively impact the local community and economy. The construction of a wild rice processing facility enabled 18 local harvesters to process over 2,000 pounds of wild rice in its inaugural season, despite significant weather challenges. Additionally, teaching others how to use the processing equipment carries forth the rich traditions and historical significance of wild rice in the Arrowhead Region. Local community members have been involved through preparing the space to house the processing equipment, equipment, the sharing of knowledge through tours, and participating as mentors and mentees for harvesting and processing wild rice.Friends of the Finland Community hopes that increasing access to locally grown wild rice will contribute to a healthy community food system and a robust economy.

Page 6

LLOYD K JOHNSON FOUNDATION | ANNUAL REPORT 20216Building Confidence, Pride, and ConnectionsDuluth Folk School The Duluth Folk School Youth Canoe Build program is a thoughtfully crafted program that is a win-win for youth and several youth agencies in Southern St. Louis County. The canoe build program encompasses technical skills, youth development, experiential learning, relationship-building, and strengthening collaborations. This comprehensive program has brought under-served and under-represented youth from Men as Peacemakers, Boys & Girls Club, AICHO, and the Duluth community the opportunity to learn this craft from the Duluth Folk School. While building a canoe from scratch, kids gain confidence, pride, and the ability to solve problems as part of a team, then see their hard work and talents put into action as the canoe is taken out on the water. The program comes full circle as kids learn to appreciate their final product and the human connection to rivers and lakes.Blending Music with NatureThe Kako Foundation Hiking in Harmony is a program that benefits youth in their most transformative elementary and middle school years. Integrating healthy outdoor activities with musical instruction – led by naturalists and musicians – creates a learning environment that boosts confidence, builds skills, and improves the well-being of kids at a time when COVID can easily heighten isolation and dependence on technology. The parents and participants expressed an appreciation for, and the importance of, having role models who represent diverse backgrounds. With the success of Hiking in Harmony 2021, the Kako Foundation, in collaboration with Mentor North and St. Mark’s Giving Garden, offered a Hiking in Harmony summer camp session in July of 2022 which emphasized gardening along with music, outdoor, and relationship-building skills.Hiking in Harmony uses creative engagement to nurture children’s unique talents and expand opportunities for them to explore the natural beauty within their community.2021 GRANTEE STORIES

Page 7

LLOYD K JOHNSON FOUNDATION | ANNUAL REPORT 20217This poem by Kyler Hanson, a high school student, appears on the back cover of the book:SQUEEZEDCOVID is like aBoa Constrictor.At first it appearsLong and menacing,Asphyxiating.However, once itLoosens but does notFully leave, it isNot hard to get usedTo having a BoaConstrictor around.Instilling Hope Through CreativityWISE - Women’s Initiative for Service and Education Seeking the well-being of children is an ongoing concern of all communities as the COVID pandemic ebbs and flows. The Women’s Initiative for Service and Education in Cook County, along with the estate of Karen Smaby, wanted children to have a positive outlet to express their fears and concerns, and look towards hope. Writing and drawing are forms of self-expression, but also serve as a creative representation of social challenges facing youth. Over 100 submissions of writings and artwork were received from youth in Cook County. These works were used to create a hardbound book titled “Squeezed, the Constrictor” with copies distributed to each participant, as well as the school and public libraries.This production encapsulates the historic time children are living in and will help instill pride and a positive outlook in the years ahead.

Page 8

2021 SCHOLARSHIPSThe Lloyd K. Johnson Post-Secondary Scholarship Program• 76: The number of students we’ve supported • $775,000: The amount of tuition, books & fees paid• 95%: The average percentage of applications we award• 2.8: The average incoming GPA of our awardees• 44%: The percent of students who come from families with significantly low income• 59%: The percent of our students who are the first in their family to attend college• 84%: The percent of students who have asked us to increase our supportive services • 58%: The percent of students who indicate they would not have gone to college without our support• 10: The number of hours we teach Financial Literacy courses• 60: The number of hours each week we’re available for students to connect with us• 8: The number of different ways we connect with students (email, text, zoom, in-person, survey, etc.)• 8: The average number of times we connect with each student before they begin their first semester• 18: The number of student newsletters we send out annually • 4: The average number of times we see each student in person each year • 50%: The average percent of students who don’t meet all of our program requirements each year• 100%: The percent of students offered additional chances (with support) to maintain their award• 75%: The percent of students we retain (those who continue with classes or graduate)• 2x: Our success rate compared to our amazing community college partners • 100%: The percent of our alumni who have continued, or want to continue, their education • 100%: The percent of our alumni who are employedWe believe in awarding students generously, and in promoting accessibility. We prioritize students who might benefit from added support, and look for students who might not go to college without this opportunity. We believe in providing more than just a check, and in second chances too… and we’re proud to say, this model is working.We definitely have some data-nerds here at Lloyd K. If you’re one too, this year’s scholarship summary is for you! Our program by the numbers, 2008 – 2021:Congratulations to all our recent graduates, those of you going back to school after a planned break, and those who are just beginning. We can’t wait to walk this road with you!

Page 9

Our model and philosophy in general is one of continual learning and continuous improvement. Because of this, we at the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation engage students in frequent feedback – formally through surveys, and more informally through conversation. Integrated into our model is a formal survey following the culmination of each financial class. As a smaller class this year, with numerous students unable to attend regularly due to work commitments, Hailey, in a similar situation, made all five. Hailey’s propensity for kindness and honesty guided her as she shared that it just didn’t feel right that so many students missed classes, while others made it a priority. Hailey’s candid feedback gave us the push we’ve been needing to make the leap to formally require this class as a component of our programming … and in 2022, we’ll do just that.Hailey’s just a few months into her journey in college - and with us - but we can’t wait to hear more from her (and the class of 2021) to help shape and mold our program well into the future.Hailey SmithIntegrating Feedback: Letting Students LeadMasson LiljestrandA student interviewINTERACTIVE VIDEO - CLICK TO WATCH$18,2416 NEW SCHOLARSHIP AWARDSPOST-SECONDARY SCHOLARSHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS: Madison Christianson, Hattie Meyer, Lucas Scheils, Hailey Smith, Paisley Smith, Kevin Viren POST-SECONDARY RENEWAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS: Trevor Berglund, Chloe Blackburn, Mason Liljestrand, Masen McKeever POST-SECONDARY 2ND RENEWAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD RECIPIENT: Andrea Larsen$48,8975 RENEWAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARDSDoran Acero Finding Purpose in Creation What we love most about Doran, is he is the embodiment (already) of what we hope all our students experience and grow into during their time under scholarship: Authenticity, wisdom, discernment, a broadening their worldview, expanding opportunities, advocating for themselves, embracing new experiences, and finding something to study and do that brings them joy, purpose, and fulfillment. “… Whatever I’m doing, I want to help others, be it on an individual level or helping to teach as many people as possible. I want to create, as the place that I have found the most fulfillment has been in front of a project; be it painting, a video I’m producing, or a table I’d like to make. Creation is where I find some semblance of purpose. … That is why college seems like a good move for me. It’s a place to improve in the things I love, make connections, and take a step towards being successful.” Doran is in his second semester, majoring in Multimedia Studies at Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College. He earned a 4.0 his first semester and was asked by professors to mentor his peers as a formal work-study position. He currently works in the media center, is a campus ambassador, and is starting his first podcast soon! He’s keeping his options open, but plans to pursue additional education after completing his 2-year degree. Doran is truly one of those really special young adults who we cannot wait to hear from in ten-or-so years. We have no doubt his life will be filled with interesting things, interesting people, a lot of kindness, care, and compassion – and most of all, creation.

Page 10


Page 11

Service Area ImpactsArts & Culture • Community Development • Education • Environment • Social WelfareThe Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation seeks to promote access to educational opportunities and to improve the quality of life in the North Shore communities of Cook, Lake and Southern St. Louis Counties through grantmaking in the areas of arts and culture, community and economic development, education, the environment and social welfare programs to qualified organizations.SOUTHERNST. LOUIS COUNTY$678,460$74,800Arts & Culture $75,000Community & Economic Development $129,160Education $25,000Environment $374,500 Social WelfareLAKE COUNTY$82,000$7,000 Arts & Culture$75,000 EducationCOOK COUNTY$270,485$85,000 Arts & Culture$112,500 Education $10,000 Environment$62,985Social WelfareNORTH SHORE$70,000$10,000 Community & Economic Development$10,000 Environment$5,000 Education$45,000 Social WelfareLake Superior

Page 12

LLOYD K JOHNSON FOUNDATION | ANNUAL REPORT 2021122021 GRANTS AWARDEDARTS & CULTUREGrand Marais Art ColonyGeneral Operating Support$30,000Cook County Historical SocietyRestoration & Landscaping at JHP Art Gallery$28,000WISE, Women’s Initiative for Service and EducationSmaby Pandemic Book Project$2,000Grand Marais Playhouse Inc.Operational Support$25,000EDUCATIONGreat Expectations FoundationGreat Lunch Meal Program$10,000Minnesota Children’s PressBook Camp Sessions$25,000Birch Grove Community SchoolBirch Grove “Campsite” Addition$10,000Cook County Higher EducationStudent Support Services & Student Scholarships$60,000Grand Portage Band of Lake SuperiorGrand Portage Community Teen Center$7,500ENVIRONMENTCook County Local Energy ProjectCapacity Building$10,000SOCIAL WELFARE Go Dog North Shore Grand Marais Dog Park$10,000Cook County ExtensionGarden Addition$5,985Sawtooth Mountain ClinicOral Health Task Force$10,000North Shore HealthCapital Project$27,000Sawtooth Mountain ClinicOral Health Task Force - Expansion to Serve Seniors$10,000COOK COUNTYARTS & CULTUREFinland Minnesota Historical SocietySite Improvement for Visitor Experience$3,500 Lake Superior Community TheatreAnne Frank Project Support$3,500COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Friends of the Finland CommunityWild Rice Processing Facility$25,000Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning CenterReopening Wolf Ridge$50,000LAKE COUNTYSawtooth Mountain Clinic Oral Health Taskforce

Page 13

LLOYD K JOHNSON FOUNDATION | ANNUAL REPORT 202113COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT North Shore Community RinkCommunity Rink Safety & Access Improvements$10,000EDUCATIONConservation Corps MinnesotaSummer Youth CorpsYouth Program$5,000ENVIRONMENTSuperior Hiking Trail AssociationVolunteer-Powered RenewalWork & Training$10,000SOCIAL WELFARERise Inc.Assisting Deaf Minnesotans in Find Employment$5,000Minnesota AssistanceCouncil for VeteransComprehensive Services for Northeast Minnesota Veterans$15,000 Courage Kenny Foundation on behalf of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute - NorthlandAdaptive RecreationNorthshore$15,000 Minnesota Sixth Judicial District- Shore Substance Use Recovery CourtShore Substance UseRecovery Court$10,000NORTH SHOREARTS & CULTUREDuluth Folk SchoolBOAT Project$15,000Duluth Art Institute AssociationThe Power of Art Series$21,500Lyric Opera of the NorthLittle LOON virtual performance for schools $7,500Minnesota BalletOutreach Week$8,500Nordic CenterShift: Ethnic Origin, Identity and Belonging - The Duluth Lynchings: A Family Perspective with author Karen F. Nance$3,500The Kako FoundationHiking in Harmony$2,000Matinee Musicale Inc.Outreach and artist supportfor the 2021-22 MatineeMusicale season$3,300Twin Ports Choral ProjectCapacity Building$10,000Zeitgeist Center forArts and CommunityBetween$3,500SOUTHERN ST. LOUIS COUNTYConservation Corps Minnesota

Page 14

LLOYD K JOHNSON FOUNDATION | ANNUAL REPORT 2021142021 GRANTS AWARDEDCOMMUNITY DEVELOPMENTLocal Initiatives Support Corporation DuluthBuilding Wealth and Equity$25,000One Roof Community HousingOperating Support$25,000GND Development AllianceGND REC Skatepark$25,000EDUCATIONAnimal Allies Humane SocietyExpand Capacity for Humane Education Programs to Reach Underserved Populations$3,500Duluth Public Schools ISD 709Interactive Garden Mural Project$3,200Northern ExpressionsArts CollectivePlaytime Series - Using artistic play to connect community members $1,000Duluth Public Schools ISD 709Observing & Reflection of Children’s Play$8,960Positive Energy OutdoorsClimbing Outdoor and Wall - PEO and Youth Organizations$3,500Duluth CommunityGarden ProgramEducation & Outreach Programs$20,000St. Louis CountyHistorical SocietyVeterans Oral Histories & 100th Anniversary Publication$15,000Proctor Public SchoolsCollaboration with DuluthCore Learning$17,000Duluth Area Family YMCATrue North AmeriCorps COVID Gap Funding$30,000Duluth Superior Area Educational Television CorpEducation Initiative$25,000Green New Deal HousingGNDH Traveling Exhibition$2,000ENVIRONMENTMinnesota Land TrustCity of Duluth Natural Lands Acquisition Project$15,000Hawk Ridge Bird ObservatoryNew Education FacilitiesMaster Plan$10,000SOCIAL WELFAREDuluth Area Family YMCAAmerican Sign Language Interpreter$3,000American Indian Community Housing OrganizationCOVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution$10,000CHUMFood Shelf Delivery Program$25,000Damiano of Duluth, Inc. Community Kitchen $20,000SOUTHERN ST. LOUIS COUNTY(continued)DAMIANO OF DULUTH, INC.

Page 15

Ecumen (dba Ecumen Lakeshore)Home Delivered Meals at Ecumen Lakeshore$3,500Kids Closet of DuluthClothes for Young Students of Low Income$10,000Boys & Girls Clubs of the NorthlandAcademic Support - Covid Focused$20,000Conflict Resolution CenterConflict Resolution Programming at Denfeld$15,000Family Rise TogetherGrowing Kinship Connection$25,000First Witness Child Advocacy CenterChild Abuse Prevention Coalition$20,000Life House Inc.Neighborhood Youth Services$30,000Safe Haven Shelter & Resource CenterShelter Remodel$50,000Community Action DuluthFree Tax Site$20,000Bridging HeartsBridging Lonely Hearts in Duluth$3,500Children’s Dental ServicesDuluth Oral Health Telehealth Hub$25,000Essentia Health FoundationSupporting Families with Hospitalized Children$10,000Harbor Centers Inc.Support for Duluth Senior and Caregiver Guide (including Lake and Cook County)$2,500Loaves and Fishes Housing, Inc.Olive Branch Capital Project$25,000Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Another Door Emergency Shelter$25,000Twin Ports Ministry to Seafarers, Inc.Lincoln Park Community Housing$15,000YWCA DuluthSpirit Valley Young Mothers Program$15,000Duluth Superior Sailing AssociationSail training and sailing experiences for at-risk or disadvantaged youth$2,000Thank you to all our nonprofit partners.The work that you do changes lives.Kako Foundation

Page 16

130 West Superior Street, Suite 710, Duluth, MN 55802 Phone: 218.726.9000 | Fax: