HUTCHINSON, Minn.— Amy Brustuen of Grove City has joined Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) staff to fill the new role of youth and family specialist. Brustuen will be a resource to build and strengthen southwest Minnesota’s youth and families by creating community connections and directing resources to opportunities that impact critical needs for the education and well-being of children birth-to-18 and families across the region. She started her role March 9.
Brustuen has spent two decades in human services as a social worker and case manager for Meeker County. She holds a master’s degree in human services and forensic behavioral health from Concordia University-St. Paul.
“I believe so strongly in community. I believe that people have the desire and the power to help each other when the right tools are put in their hands. This role is an opportunity to bring the level of community wellbeing up a notch through addressing systemic issues and shoring up the areas that are already assets,” Brustuen said.
Thriving youth and families are core to the success of Grow Our Own, Southwest Initiative Foundation’s cradle-to-career approach to ensure southwest Minnesota kids have what they need to succeed. The youth and family specialist reinforces this work by focusing the impact of the foundation in areas that create opportunities for economic mobility to ensure that all people – especially those with the fewest resources – can access what they need to succeed in school and life. Brustuen will concentrate on early childhood, youth mental health, and wholistic models of family care and support, centering on single mothers.
“We are excited to welcome Amy to the SWIF team,” said Nancy Fasching, SWIF Vice President of Community Impact. “She is a great addition to the organization. Her perspective and approach will make a positive difference for our region’s kids and families.”
Brustuen is involved in community as an ally for LGBTQ+ youth and families. She also administers a Facebook page for connecting volunteers to various opportunities in Meeker County and serves on the board of her local lake association.
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is a nonprofit community foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities to create a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. Since its founding in 1986, SWIF has distributed more than $97.8 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs.