Youthprise Awarded Federal Social Innovation Fund Grant to Create Career Pathways for Minnesota Opportunity Youth

Published on August 19, 2015 | Written by

Congressman Keith Ellison

August 19, 2015 — Congressman Keith Ellison, joined by Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, today announced a $3 million public – private partnership that will support a Youthprise initiative to connect Minnesota’s opportunity youth with services and support that will lead to careers in high demand fields. The project, Opportunity Reboot, targets youth ages 14-24 and has a focus on social-emotional skill building to strengthen education and career outcomes.

Through the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), Youthprise will receive $3 million over a three year period, with the option for two additional years of funding, which will be leveraged to implement an evidence-based Career Pathways Approach. The funding will build on Youthprise’s deep investments in expanded learning/out-of-school-time in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and increase our presence in Greater Minnesota. Through an open, competitive RFP process, Youthprise will identify high-performing organizations with the ability to implement the Career Pathways Approach and award four to six sub-grants in amounts ranging from $100,000 to $300,000.

“Every child deserves a good education, a strong support system, and an equal chance at achieving success,” said Congressman Keith Ellison. “The Social Innovation Fund grant that Youthprise has won will help make sure kids in Minnesota get that chance. I’m proud that Youthprise calls Minnesota’s 5th District home.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 8.19.00 AMThe federal funding will leverage an additional $5.4 million over the 3 years in non-federal matching commitments. Key partners for the project include the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) – Office of Youth Development, Search Institute and the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM).

“We are thrilled to award Youthprise a Social Innovation Fund grant that will ensure Minnesota’s opportunity youth are able to receive the support that will lead to successful careers,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “I am proud that CNCS is supporting this project, which will take an inventive approach to one of today’s most pressing issues – youth development. I extend my congratulations and gratitude to the private sector partners who have joined them in making a commitment to help more Minnesota youth have bright and prosperous futures.”

“Youthprise is grateful for this opportunity from CNCS. We know that many Minnesota youth have high capacity but limited opportunities, “said Wokie Weah, President of Youthprise, Opportunity Reboot gives us access to the expertise of SIF staff and the rich learning community they have established, allowing us to increase our investment in awesome Minnesota youth and help build evidence and scale programs that are making a measurable impact in the lives of opportunity youth.”

The SIF fosters public and private collaborations to evaluate and grow innovative community-based solutions that work. In just five years, the SIF and its private-sector partners have invested more than half a billion dollars in compelling community solutions. As a result of $229 million in federal grants and more than $516 million in non-federal match commitments, the SIF has made grants to 35 grantmaking institutions and 189 nonprofits working in 37 states and the District of Columbia.


The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. Since 1994, more than 830,000 Americans have provided more than 1 billion hours of service to their communities and country through AmeriCorps. For more information, visit



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