Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans

Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans

The 2016 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans (TOYM) program will be held on December 3, 2016 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Bloomington.

Online Registration HERE



2016 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans

Ann Beuch, Blake Road Corridor Collaborative (BRCC)
Carissa Carroll, Jack’s Baskets Founder
Leah Driscoll, Twin Cities Mobile Market Founder and Manager
Chris Henjum, Attorney and Social Entrepreneur
Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director, CAIR-MN
Gabe Johnson, Alderman, City of Brainerd
Kathryn Lindenfelser, Crescent Cove Founder
Emmanuel Oppong, Community Engagement Coordinator-City Of St. Cloud
Andrea Schwartz, Let Them Eat Cake Founder
Kimberly Stommes, Attorney, Stommes Law Office LLC



Started in 1950, the Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans (TOYM) program is Minnesota’s only statewide recognition program for outstanding young leaders between the ages of 18-40 who have devoted themselves to improving their community. The program acknowledges the efforts and accomplishments of young adults who have contributed to our state through their service, thought and influence, community involvement, or entrepreneurship.


Honorees reflect the vast diversity of young people that are making a difference in their community- whether they get involved through business, nonprofit and community organizations, or government service. TOYM is a program that recognizes and brings together a broad cross-section of young people that have devoted themselves to improving their community.


In the past 61 years, the program has recognized the leadership of more than 400 young Minnesotans. Past awardees have included young up-and-coming leaders Walter Mondale, Marlene Johnson, Dave Winfield, Tim Penny, Paul Douglas, Matt Blair, Wheelock Whitney, Martin Sabo, and Jason DeRusha.

The History of TOYM

The Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans (TOYM) started in 1950 based on the National Program, Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA). This program dates back to 1938 in recognizing young individuals across the country. Every year, the Minnesota Jaycees submits TOYM honorees to compete in the National TOYA program.


The Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA) program recognizes and honors 10 of the nation’s young people, aged 18 through 40, who best exemplify the mission of the United States Junior Chamber, which is to mobilize young people to make positive change in our communities and our world.


The Ten Outstanding Young Men program was officially adopted in 1938 and has been conducted annually since 1940. In 1984, The U.S. Junior Chamber admitted women as members and, in accordance with this change, reorganized this awards program to reflect the organization’s membership. In 1985, the program was officially changed to Ten Outstanding Young Americans, recognizing the accomplishments of young women and men.


Winners are selected on their achievement or contribution in at least three of the following areas:


  • Business, economic, agricultural and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
  • Political, legal, and/or government affairs
  • Academic leadership and/or accomplishment
  • Cultural achievement
  • Moral and/or environmental leadership
  • Contribution to children, world peace, and/or human rights
  • Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership
  • Scientific and/or technological development
  • Personal improvement and/or accomplishment
  • Medical innovation



Copies of all entries are sent to screening judges who independently select and rank the 20 semi-finalists. The entries of the semi-finalists are sent to finalist judges who independently narrow the selection to the 10 men and women selected as TOYA honorees.


Of the more than 600 young Americans honored, many were recognized for the achievements for which they are now known, including: John F. Kennedy, Gerald R. Ford, Ann Bancroft, Gale Sayers, Elvis Presley, Dan Quayle, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Larry Holmes, Bill Clinton, Jeanna Yeager, Kaye Lani Rae Rafko-Wilson.