Accelerator Initiative

The Youthprise Accelerator Initiative intentionally combines established midsize and emerging organizations that serve diverse youth to share best practices and spark innovation. Established organizations share lessons learned, infrastructure, and resources to facilitate stability, while their newer counterparts help spark innovation and creativity by offering fresh perspectives and out-of-the-box thinking about how to address current and emerging issues.

The Accelerator Initiative supports organizations whose missions focus on improving a range of youth development outcomes for Twin Cities youth who are underserved and under-engaged, including in the area of academic achievement. The initial cohort of Accelerators includes four Minnesota-based nonprofit organizations committed to a collaborative relationship centered on sharing resources, practices, and ideas that build each partner’s capacity and accelerate their organizational growth.

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Ka Joog (Eden Prairie)

Established in 2007, Ka Joog focuses its efforts on encouraging Somali youth to “ka Joog” or “stay away” from negative influences such as drugs, violence, radicalization, and other behaviors and factors that can be detrimental to their development and future. The organization works to guide young people toward reaching their full potential and provides opportunities for teens to participate in constructive activities and express themselves through visual arts, drama, music, poetry, and other media.

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Migizi Communications (Minneapolis)

Migizi Communications has served the Twin Cities’ American Indian community for more than 35 years. Through First Person Productions, Migizi operates a Summer Media Institute that instructs students in video technology and pays them to produce videos for a range of clients. Its Native Academy operates year-round and provides enrichment in the areas of math, science and technology, and helps students plan post-secondary education. Migizi’s Native Youth Futures initiative helps students develop business plans and apply for micro grants to fund their endeavors.

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The Sanneh Foundation (Saint Paul)

Founded by former professional soccer player and St. Paul native Tony Sanneh, The Sanneh Foundation aims to provide life skills for at-risk children using soccer as the catalyst to empower kids, improve lives, and unite communities. Programming focuses on leadership development and creating safe and healthy environments for children to learn and play. The foundation also emphasizes diversity and inclusion, and has incorporated anti-racism training into its camps.

 

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Tamales y Bicicletas (Minneapolis)

Originally housed with La Opportunidad, Tamales y Bicicletas focuses its efforts on environmental, food, and health justice. Tamales y Bicicletas works through oral traditions to raise awareness and empower healthy Latino and immigrant communities through bike riding, cultural empowerment, and environmental and food justice.

 

For more information on the Accelerators Initiative, contact Marcus Pope, Director of Partnerships and External Relations, marcus@youthprise.org.