HOW YOUTHPRISE IS SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITY DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

 

On Thursday, March 12, Youthprise began practicing social distancing to support broader public health efforts and do our part to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Since then, we have been working from home while remaining connected with our grantees, funders, other youth-serving intermediaries, and the broader community in order to be present and responsive to emerging needs.

On Wednesday, March 25Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an Executive Stay at Home Order with the goal of “flattening the curve” of transmission rates and decreasing the administrative load on our medical systems. To this end, government officials across the state and the nation have called for the closure of schools and the cancellation of events and gatherings while recommending that families work from home.

 

Youthprise’s goal during this unprecedented time is to mitigate the impact of Covid19 and social distancing on youth from indigenous, low-income and racially diverse communities. We will remain youth-centered, equity-minded, asset-based, and solutions-focused with an eye towards sustainability.

 

Youthprise will also remain working from home past our originally declared date until May 4th. 

CURRENT PRIORITIES AND INITIATIVES: 

Flexible Grantmaking  

  • We are working with current and past grantees to ensure they can best utilize investments Youthprise made prior to the outbreak. We are in contact with our grantee and partner network to identify immediate needs and upcoming challenges so that we can provide emergency funding where it can have the greatest impact. In addition, Youthprise is currently applying for funding as an intermediary which we will redistribute to communities with the greatest needs. We are working with current and prospective funders to loosen restrictions on dollars so that we can provide more flexible support to the nonprofits and youth we serve.  

Advocacy and Field Leadership 

  • Youthprise has been advocating on local and national levels for flexible and responsive funding for our partners and grantees. We have been convening with funders and other youth-serving organizations on the state and national level to share resources, identify strategies, and advance the field. We have also worked with the Minnesota Department of Education to allow for our and other nutrition programs in the state to be able to serve meals supporting the most vulnerable communities in alignment with federally approved shifts.  

Health & Nutrition Support 

  • For many young people, the snacks and meals provided via afterschool programs or school are their primary sources of nutrition. Youthprise is leveraging our 61+ nutrition sites and extensive network of nonprofit partners to facilitate access to nutrition to those young people during widespread school closure. This includes supporting the efforts of local school districts, identifying systemic gaps we can address, and connecting families to free or low-cost groceries.  

Distance Learning & Education Support 

  • Another consequence of school closure is the need to support students engaged in distance learning for extended periods of time. Access to adequate technology and Internet are particular challenges in low-income and rural communities. Youthprise has shifted our role in Minnesota Afterschool Advance, our partnership with the Venn Foundation, to facilitate sending laptops and other distance learning supports into the hands of families who are preparing for distance learning and may not have access to a laptop at home.   

Community Connection  

  • Youthprise is working with system partners and intermediaries at the city, region, and statewide level to ensure nonprofits throughout Minnesota are receiving support, assistance, and access to information during this challenging time. Our goal is to ensure young people have continued opportunities for meaningful connection and interactions with caring adults, mentors, and community navigators. 

UPCOMING PRIORITIES AND INITIATIVES:

Increased Funding for Youth

  • We are developing a fund for youth that leverages gift matching to maximize investments. We will be connecting with our YPAR and Youthbank sites in order to respond to the needs that arise, Youthprise is also raising $1 million to support the needs of young people and their families over the next few months. 

HOW TO HELP:

Please stay tuned for more as we learn with and from youth and our partners what is needed in our communities. We aim to continue following youth voice in our decision-making, including the youth on staff and on our board 

 

Youthprise is always accepting tax-deductible donations online--please click here! Your gift will be put to work immediately, and all donations will be automatically matched due to a partnership with our funders.

 

 For more information, please contact our President Wokie Weah at Wokie@Youthprise.org or 651-779-4655.