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2nd Annual Healthy Minds Event Focused on Health and Skill-building for Students in North Central Mass

The MWCC’s Portrait of a Graduate initiative in conjunction with community partners Gardner CAC, Growing Places, HEAL Winchendon, LUK, Inc., Making Opportunity Count (MOC) Inc., and Pathways for Change, announce the second annual Healthy Minds Virtual Youth Conference, scheduled for April 13, 2022 from 10 am to 1 pm.

The 2021 event was a tremendous success, with over 1,700 students across North Central Massachusetts participating in the live virtual event, and over 2,200 registered to access the session recordings, which addressed topics requested by students that fall outside of the realm of traditional academics

This year’s Healthy Minds event brings health and real-world skill-building to K-12 schools across the region with a theme of “Curiosity and Connection”.  Teachers and students will be able to select from breakout sessions that spark personal interests, satisfy curiosity, and help them plan for their future.

“Local organizations have so many great resources to share,” states Fagan Forhan, MWCC Dean of K-12 Partnerships and Civic Engagement. “This event extends our classrooms into the communities and broadens our students’ horizons.”

Speakers include educators and community members covering topics ranging from physical and emotional health and self-care, STEM topics, interpersonal relationships, financial intelligence, and even how to rent an apartment. Healthy Minds event organizer and HEAL Winchendon Coordinator, Miranda Jennings states, “The last couple years have been incredibly difficult for students and educators—we see Healthy Minds not just as an youth-centered learning opportunity, but also as a gift to learners and their teachers from the many community organizations supporting them and rooting for their success.”

The Healthy Minds: Curiosity and Connection event will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, from 10 am to 1 pm. The conference is free and open to any school and student to participate. Event preview and registration information will be available at

Current sponsors are the Barr Foundation, Reliant Foundation, and United Way of North Central Massachusetts. Organizations or individuals interested in sponsoring should contact Donna Toothaker, UWYV Program Manager at 978-630-9138 or

About Portrait of a Graduate

The Barr Foundation’s “Portrait of a Graduate” grant program at MWCC is working to develop a collective vision of what all high school students will know and be able to do by graduation. MWCC was one of 14 awarded communities in New England for the Portrait of a Graduate Grant. This grant program benefits from joint collaboration with the Fitchburg Public Schools, Gardner Public Schools, Leominster Public Schools, Winchendon Public Schools, and the MWCC Early College programs. Learn more at