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District 518 earns human services honor

ST. PAUL --Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson Thursday honored seven organizations from across the state for their outstanding contributions to human services program clients. Recipients of the 2012 DHS Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards were recognized at a ceremony at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building in St. Paul.

Among the winners was District 518 Community Education, which provides refugee resettlement services in the communities of Bigelow, Reading, Rushmore, Wilmont and Worthington.

"These organizations have come up with innovative ways to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable Minnesotans," Jesson said in a press release. "They exemplify all of the great human services work happening across Minnesota toward our vision of healthy people, stable families and strong communities."

District 518 Community Education staff has developed an array of classes and programs to help Burmese refugees, who moved to the area in recent years, connect to services in the community and become engaged citizens. Efforts involve partnerships with Nobles County, the business community, the Southern Minnesota Regional Housing Partnership, the Immigrant Law Center and the district's schools.