BEMIDJI -- More than 20,000 people are eligible for the annual Cares Awards from the Association of Residential Resources of Minnesota, and less than 100 are nominated.

This year, one of those nominated works right here in Bemidji.

On Friday, ARRM, the statewide association representing care providers through legislative advocacy and public awareness, presented Destiny Krogseng a nomination certificate. Krogseng is a licensed social worker from Bemidji and works at Lutheran Social Services Minnesota.

During a ceremony at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji, Drew Henry, ARRM director of member communication, presented the certificate to Krogseng and noted the significance of the work she does.

"Our members essentially provide the services allowing tens of thousands of people who would otherwise be in nursing care or in restrictive settings to live as regular residents in the community," Henry said. "This is our opportunity to share with people the incredible impact those who work in community based services have, and say thank you for all of your dedication and contributions."

"Destiny's work is helping to bridge one of the largest inclusion gaps for Minnesotans with disabilities: gaining mainstream employment," said Joyce Hagen, Lutheran Social Services Senior director in a press release. "She not only works with people to develop their skills, but ensures their co-workers and broader community have the tools and resources to be part of their support network and ultimate success."

Krogseng, who's worked with Lutheran Social Services for a year and a half, told the Pioneer on Friday the best part of working in the position is "helping individuals get jobs, meet co-workers and be part of the community. When they work on their own, it's great seeing them succeed."

Also present at the nomination ceremony was District 5A Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, who gave praises to Krogseng, as well. "The work Destiny, and a lot of other folks around our state, do is really a labor of love, and it's one of the more challenging labors that are undertaken," Persell said. "It's hard work, so to be recognized for it is no small feat."

According to Henry, the ARRM board selects a total of six statewide winners of those nominated, with the announcement in September.