Gabrielle “Elle” Mark is an honors graduate from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse with her Bachelors degree in Public Health & Community Health Education. During her undergraduate career, Elle spent a significant amount of time researching and performing health education programming surrounding the topics of mental health and wellness as well as the prevention of mental distress.

Elle’s passion for promoting mental wellness stems from her personal experience with mental health disorders. In efforts to help others through the struggles she encountered with mental illness, Elle utilized her role as a local titleholder within the Miss America Organization (MAO) to share her mental health journey and help to guide others through theirs. 

Elle created the campaign “Warrior, Not Worrier: Conquering Mental Illness” to raise awareness of and honor the 1 in 5 Americans who battle mental illness every day (NIMH, 2021). This campaign served as her Social Impact Initiative during her time as Miss La Crosse / Oktoberfest 2018. As Miss La Crosse / Oktoberfest, Elle raised over $1,100 to support mental health initiatives in the 7 Rivers Region and spent countless hours advocating and educating others on what mental illness is.

In her time as Miss La Crosse / Oktoberfest, Elle partnered with her local steering committee for The Campaign to Change Direction to promote mental wellness in La Crosse, WI. Elle promoted their 5 Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-Being to local schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, and businesses. These habits focus on preventing mental distress through the promotion of activities that can improve everyone’s mental health.

As Elle continued on in her MAO journey, she discovered her passion for preventing mental illness the same way she prevents youth substance use in her career. While she still promotes her “Warrior, Not Worrier” campaign, she now focuses her efforts on educating as many Minnesotan’s as possible about the “5 Healthy Habits”. 

Elle now serves as Miss St. Croix Valley Festival 2020 and hopes to become the next Miss Minnesota. When she isn’t “crowning around,” she works full-time as the Prevention Education Manager and Certified Prevention Professional at Mn Adult & Teen Challenge. She also serves on the Associate Board of the Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities and can often be found at the local dog park with her rescue pup, Willmar Taffy.