We’re Here to Help!

That’s why we exist, to help you. So use chat, email, call, stop by, and/or explore our website. Not sure where to start? Ask one of these friendly people.

General Office Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

CCHE Staff are available outside of office hours by appointment (email or call). Need a place to study after hours? Ask us about our 24/7 access option!

Call Today 218-387-3411
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I wish that more people knew that CCHE applies for funding and requests donations to help provide college scholarships to those that want to stay and learn in our community. Each year we give out over $40,000 in college scholarships!

Adrea Beres, Administrative Assistant

I wish more people knew that CCHE supports and encourages members of our community to teach at our facility. If you are an expert in a field or have a passion to share, we can help create a class or workshop for you to lead.

karen blackburnKaren Blackburn, Executive Director

Doing the research for going back to school can be difficult and time-consuming – that’s why the Student Services Coordinator position exists. I wish the community knew that and took advantage of this FREE resource!

lenna steverLenna Stever, Student Support Coordinator

I wish community members knew that CCHE will work to find them a tutor in any subject they need help in. From high school students to lifelong learners it’s an amazing resource!

Carly Puch, Outreach Coordinator

I wish more people knew about the program scholarships. No one should let finances be a barrier in attending workshops and events at CCHE.

Kelsey Rogers Kennedy, Program Director
karen blackburn
Contact Karen

Karen Blackburn (she/her/hers)
Executive Director


The Executive Director role runs the gamut from changing lightbulbs to testifying at the Minnesota State Legislature. As Karen sees it, her job is to keep the organization running smoothly: secure funding, lead the fantastic staff, make the hard decisions, maintain the campus, manage the financials and interact with the Board of Directors. Karen has worked for CCHE since 2017.

Office Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm

Education: B.S. Economics, Yale University; Blandin Leadership Graduate; Upper Iowa University distance learner.

Previous work: Controller at Lutsen Mountains for 10 years, Financial Coordinator at Cook County for 3 years, and private bookkeeping for local non-profits and businesses for 20 years.

Other: Karen’s goal each summer is to sleep in a tent for 20 nights. She also loves to act, sing and dance, and can occasionally be found on the stage of a Grand Marais Playhouse Production.

Contact Kelsey

Kelsey Rogers Kennedy (she/her/hers)
Associate Director – Program Director
CCHS Graduate


Kelsey works with businesses and the community to help assess programming needs and wants, then develops events, workshops, and classes based on those requests. She continually looks for ways CCHE can offer you the education you want where you live! Kelsey has worked for CCHE since 2012.

Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 9 am – 5 pm

Education: B.A. Social Marketing, Northern Michigan University; M.S. Organizational Leadership, St. Mary’s University; and a Blandin Leadership Graduate.

Previous Work: K-12 substitute teacher for 2 years; former administration assistant/registrar, career services advisor, and career development instructor at Rasmussen College for 7 years, Business Owner.

Other: Kelsey enjoys seeing the world through the eyes of her young daughter, eating good food, exploring new places with her husband, pontooning with her family, and hibernating in the winter with a good book. Kelsey is passionate about quality education being accessible to everyone!

Contact Lenna
Make an Appointment

Lenna Stever (she/her/hers)
Student Support Coordinator
CCHS Graduate


Lenna focuses on making school accessible. This means something different to everyone, but it can include FAFSA assistance, researching online courses or programs, choosing a major, editing essays, paying back student loans, and more. Whatever challenge you are facing as a student or potential student, she is here to assist you. Lenna has worked for CCHE since 2019.

Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 9 am – 4:30 pm, and by appointment

Education: B.A. in English Literature, University of Minnesota.

Previous Work: English as a foreign language to adult learners both abroad and in the U.S.

Other: In 2011 Lenna founded the Cook County Dance Program, where she delighted in sharing the joy of dance with her community. She brings this passion for both education and her community to CCHE.

Contact Adrea

Adrea Beres (she/her/hers)
Office & Website Administrator


Adrea is usually the first face you see when walking into CCHE. She manages event registration, provides administrative support for events, manages the website and all of CCHE’s data. She has worked at CCHE since 2019.

Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 9 am – 5:30 pm

Education: B.S., Health Education, Touro University; M.S.W., Multicultural Clinical Social Work, Augsburg College.

Previous Work: Adrea worked in public health prior to becoming a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW). Adrea worked for many years in Minneapolis assisting adults experiencing chronic homelessness and serious and persistent mental illness. Additionally, she worked in a group practice as a mental health therapist.

Other: She is also a clinically trained herbalist, and a ceramic and jewelry artist.

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CCHE acknowledges that we are located on traditional, ancestral, and modern-day lands of Indigenous people. These lands were stolen by white settlers who forcibly pushed out Indigenous people. Despite attempts at erasure, the Ojibwe nation, and before them the Dakota and the Cree nations – and other Indigenous peoples from time immemorial – have persisted. We recognize that this Land Acknowledgement is but one step in unmasking systems of oppression. To read the full statement and learn more about our commitment to this work click here.