The Power of Mission Moments: Year-End Reflections from the Youthprise President

Published on December 22, 2014 | Written by

by Wokie Weah, President

During a recent interview, a youth board director candidate interpreted the Youthprise mission as one designed to “inspire collaboration and creative imagination” around how the world perceives, supports and interacts with youth. Two new videos bring this interpretation to life. The first, “Youth and Adults Working in Concert” shares highlights from the recent Youthprise Summit hosted in partnership with the Minnesota Orchestra and hints at the magical possibilities of transforming relationships through robust engagement across generations. Attendees of the Summit had the rare opportunity to step into our mission of championing learning beyond the classroom and experience a moment when we could all rally around helping young people expand their dreams, their sense of personal mastery and their capacity to transform the world.

The second video is a local news clip filmed at the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for a Youth Funder Recognition program celebrating a successful campaign organized by the Alliance and Youthprise.  The campaign raised close to a quarter of a million dollars in two months to provide employment and internships to young people in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center. The event launched a first of its kind Youth Employment Program in suburban Hennepin County. The initiative will be managed by the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth until 2017 when it will be taken over by the two cities. Attendees at the event experienced a powerful mission moment by witnessing what can be accomplished when city, community and youth leaders join forces to move outcomes that will improve the lives of young people.

For me, both videos are reminders of the richness of many 2014 “mission moments” and the sophisticated response of expanded learning opportunities that bring young people and their creativity to the center of systems building and tantalize our collective imagination with infinite possibilities.  After three years of existence, the Youthprise mission is still anchored in our belief in creating access, sparking innovation, striving for quality and shooting for sustainability.

As we say goodbye to 2014, we are grateful for the many valuable lessons learned over the years and to all of you who have partnered with us in investing in the enterprise of youth.  As we usher in 2015 we are excited to roll out an equity-driven growth model powered by the following strategies:

  • Expand impact through leveraging to bring new investment to the expanded learning field;
  • Advance racial equity by strengthening our internal policies and practices;
  • Align systems regionally across the Twin Cities to advance youth outcome measurement, data collection and program quality; and
  • Grow the role of youth within our organization and in the field.

By pursuing these strategies, we see enormous opportunity to help young people transform their lives and to help cities transform their communities. Have a joyous holiday season and bring in the New Year by reflecting on your favorite mission moment from 2014.

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