The inaugural MDU Resources Teen of the Year award ceremony in 2018 was held at the MDU Resources campus in Bismarck. Naomi Hegwood, then a senior at Bismarck High School, was chosen as the Teen of the Year.

The Bismarck Tribune and MDU Resources Group Inc. are teaming up again to recognize exemplary high school seniors from across the region.

Teen of the Week kicks off Wednesday. The 32-week series that spans the length of the school year features inspiring stories about students who excel in academics, extracurricular activities and within their communities.

In its second year, the program will culminate with the awarding of a $5,000 scholarship, sponsored by MDU Resources, to one of the deserving teens at a banquet next spring.

“We couldn't have had a better launch to this last year. We're excited for Year Two to get going, and I just think it's going to be terrific,” Bismarck Tribune Publisher Gary Adkisson said. “MDU Resources is so committed to this program. They are a fantastic sponsor.”

Each Wednesday, a high school senior from Bismarck, Mandan or the surrounding area will be featured on Page A1 of the Tribune. Weekly winners will be selected by Tribune staff from nominations submitted by school counselors, who receive recommendations from teachers, administrators and coaches.

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Once all 32 weekly winners have been recognized, a committee composed of staff from MDU Resources and the Tribune will select a Teen of the Year to receive the scholarship.

Naomi Hegwood, who graduated from Bismarck High School and is attending Harvard University, was last year's Teen of the Year. Among her accomplishments were straight-As, completion of nine Advanced Placement classes, and involvement in Envirothon, Science Olympiad and Science Bowl. Hegwood, whose dad is incarcerated on drug-related charges, worked at Target to supplement her mother's income.

MDU Resources is “very proud” to be a part of the program, according to company CEO Dave Goodin, who said the Teens of the Week will be the future leaders and workers of the state and nation.

“We're proud to support the youth of the area in highlighting individual stories and the various accomplishments,” he said. “It's just a great way to feature the youth, and when things fast-forward it will be interesting to see where all these paths take the individuals.”

MDU Resources, an organization made up of about 13,000 employees, operates in nearly 50 states. Its main businesses in North Dakota include Knife River Corp., MDU Construction Services Group Inc., Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and WBI Energy Inc. Operating mainly outside of the state are Cascade Natural Gas Corp., Intermountain Gas Co. and Great Plains Natural Gas Co.

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