ADULT & FAMILIESChildren & YouthIron Range Youth in Action (IRYA)   

Welcome to the Iron Range Youth in Action Program

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Iron Range Youth in Action (IRYA) is a county program providing opportunities to involve youth in developing and implementing youth programs and community service learning projects. With youth participants in 11 schools and 37 communities, IRYA is a driving force with a mission to bring positive changes to the communities in Northern Minnesota. IRYA promotes youth leadership to its highest level and asks young people to make a difference in the lives of others. To view more information please click here.
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2016 Young Leaders Conference


Program History

Iron Range Youth in Action was a "home grown" program started in 1995 by St. Louis County Commissioner Liz Prebich and the Partners Board. Commissioner Prebich had a vision of hundreds of youth across Northern St. Louis County out in their communities using their voices in public policy development and civic volunteering on a very large scale. Supported by County Commissioners Mike Forsman and Steve Raukar, Prebich worked with the Partners Board members to create a youth organization that would reach out to thousands of young people across the Iron Range of St. Louis County.

Partners Board

The IRYA program grew out of a Joint Powers Agreement between nine different local government jurisdictions on the Iron Range, with a focus on making policy recommendations in the best interest of youth and families, and to the participating governing entities which are the participants in the agreement. That Joint Powers Board is referred to as the Partners Board/Local Governments with Youth and has existed in this form since 1995. The board's mission is to maintain the integrity of the county IRYA Program.

Partners Board Members  
Tom Rukavina
SLC - Commissioner
4th District    
Keith Nelson
SLC - Commissioner
6th District     
Steve Raukar
SLC - Commissioner
7th District 
Mary Hess
Aurora - Mayor
Mike Jugovich
Chisholm - Mayor 
Gary Skalko
Mt. Iron - Mayor 
Chet Larson
ISD 2142 - Canyon
Ray Marsnik
ISD 696 - Ely
Mona Putzel
ISD 2154 - Eveleth/Gilbert 
Jeff Polcher   
ISD 701 - Hibbing
Walt Hautala
ISD 2711 - Mesabi East
Larry Sokoloski
ISD 712 - Mt. Iron/Buhl
Kim Stokes-Cerkvenik
ISD 706 - Virginia
Scott Smolich
Aurora City Council 
Bernice Norregaard
Beth Peterson
Chris Vreeland
Hoyt Lakes City Council
Heidi Omerza
Ely City Council 
Leanne Johnson
ISD 695 - Chisholm
Rob Kutsi
Gilbert - Mayor
Nevada Littlewolf
Virginia City Council