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This project is made possible by a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation.

Mapping stories: Our rural Minnesota youth

From Lancaster to Lanesboro, and from Luverne to Grand Marais, Minnesota’s rural youth have described their lives and choices. Click on a red-shaded county for links to their stories.

This marks the final week of MinnPost’s yearlong series, Rural Minnesota: A Generation at the Crossroads. The project was made possible by the Otto Bremer Foundation.

From Lancaster in the far northwest to Lanesboro in the southeast, from wooded Grand Marais to windy Luverne, Minnesota’s rural youth have opened their lives to MinnPost’s readers. Our project has shared the words, faces and voices of young people through stories, youth blogs, video interviews and profiles.

RuralMN a generation at the crossroadsOriginal image by msalmi78

Our diverse subjects have included high-school and college students, current and future farmers, musicians and actors, loggers and laborers, young people starting businesses, powwow dancers – and more.

We’ve profiled young people who look forward to city lives, and others who are determined to stay in the hometowns they love. We talked to immigrants who’ve settled in places like Willmar and Pelican Rapids, and learned of native youth who are rediscovering the Dakota language. We found our ever-articulate subjects at places ranging from the annual White Earth Powwow to the State Fair in St. Paul.

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All were remarkably willing to share their joys and concerns, their appraisal of small-town living and their hopes and plans for the future. Gathering their stories were reporters Sharon Schmickle, Jeff Severns Guntzel, Steve Date, Gregg Aamot and John Fitzgerald.

Below is an interactive map, created by Guntzel and updated by Kaeti Hinck, that shows where the youth live who’ve been featured in our series. The counties shaded red are places we’ve visited or the home of someone who has been profiled or who wrote a guest post. 

To read about their lives, click on a red-shaded county; a list of stories with links will appear.