Tobacco Free North Dakota is happy to announce the winner of our fifth annual Video Essay Scholarship Contest: Madeline Erickson, St. Mary’s Central High School in Bismarck. Erickson, a graduating senior, played an instrumental part in defending North Dakota’s smoke-free air law during the 2021 legislative session. Her advocacy work earned her the prestigious Youth Advocate of the Year Award from Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Erickson will be attending Georgetown University next year.

“Madeline has been a wonderful youth advocate for tobacco policy,” said Heather Austin, Executive Director of TFND. “She was able to showcase her knowledge and put together one of the best videos we’ve ever seen.”

New this year, Tobacco Free North Dakota created a new award for other non-winning video submissions: honorable mentions. These awards showcase students who put forth tremendous effort in their submissions. This year, TFND will award two honorable mention awards- worth $500 each.

Honorable Mention 1: Emily Tryon of Hazen High School. Tryon will attend Bismarck State College in the fall.

Honorable Mention 2: Ben Foster of Hazen High School. Foster will attend the University of North Dakota.

You can watch the winning video at TFND is currently working on setting a time and date for an in-person check presentation. For more information or questions, please contact Andrew Horn, at

TFND is a statewide non-profit that advocates for policies to prevent youth initiation to tobacco and nicotine products with the goal of creating North Dakota’s first tobacco free generation. We hope this scholarship contest encourages youth to youth education and advocacy, while providing TFND an opportunity to recognize and reward those efforts.