Angela Edwards was recently awarded a Minnesota Council of Nonprofits award for unsung heroes for her work with the nonprofit Education Explosion.

As founder of Education Explosion, Edwards works with students in North Minneapolis to achieve educational and career goals through test preparation, counseling and on-site computer training. Because of her work and encouragement, many in her community are moving away from poverty. Edwards is a student in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) program at Metropolitan State.

"Angela brings a sense of hope to her community and to everyone she works with, and, according to her nominator, has brought many from poverty to self-sufficiency.  The combination of the incredible work she's doing plus her determination and heart made her stand out.  That, in addition to the fact that she has never received recognition for her amazing work, really won her the award," said Sarah Crumrine, communications coordinator for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

Edwards was recognized at a luncheon at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and will be honored at its annual conference in October. Each awardee in 2017 will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from the McKnight Foundation and MCN and were honored at a private luncheon in Minneapolis on Sept. 26. Award recipients will also be recognized at the 2017 MCN Annual Conference on Oct. 12 in Saint Paul.

According to Edwards, this recognition will allow her to devote more  monetary resources to her nonprofit, Education Explosion. Winning grants has been difficult and Edwards has been funding the organization through businesses that she has started.  The recognition from this award will help with future grant applications and as she seeks money to fund the organization.

Since 1985, the McKnight Foundation has recognized Minnesotans who have improved the quality of life for current and future generations with the Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service. In 2015, MCN partnered with McKnight Foundation to coordinate and present the inaugural Unsung Hero Awards, honoring individuals performing life-changing work in communities across Minnesota, with little or no recognition.