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 health crises.
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. She was drawn to their mission of changing the culture of mental health. The Campaign to Change Direction aims to encourage conversations around mental health to help society view mental health the same way we do physical health.
As Elle continued her MAO journey in Wisconsin and Minnesota, she continued promoting the campaign’s 5 Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-Being to local schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, and businesses. These habits focus on preventing mental health crises through the promotion of activities that can improve everyone’s mental health!
After two years of working in the field of public health, Elle competed for the title of Miss Minnesota and was crowned on June 25th, 2021! Elle now travels the state of Minnesota promoting both the Miss Minnesota Organization and the Campaign to Change Direction. Besides “crowning around,” Elle 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.