A Year in Review: 2013
Along with our partners, community members and the young people in our communities, so much has been accomplished in 2013!
We kicked off the year with our annual Black History Month Celebration, Renewing Hope in the Promise of Minnesota’s Youth, with a host of partners. We invited Dr. Joseph L. White to keynote the events, and he shared his insights about growing up in the Twin Cities as a young Black man, how these expeirences impacted his career in psychology and the need to support new generations of young people.
In March we welcomed our second cohort of Youth Innovators. Over the past nine months these young people have been involved in our development efforts, research work, and communications strategizing and in just about everything we do. They created our Youth Voices newsflash, which came out in June, where they shared some of the work they are involved in and their visions for the out-of-school time field.
In April we partnered with youthrive in their organizing of Minnesota’s PeaceJam. This event brought the Liberian peace activist and youth advocate, Leymah Gbowee, to the Twin Cities to share her experiences as a Nobel Peace Laureate.
In 2013 we also solidified our partnership with Every Hour Counts (formerly CBASS) and their national advocacy for out-of-school time programs and policies. Our President, Wokie Weah, and Director of Public Policy, Karen Kingsley, attended national gatherings in Baltimore and Washington D.C. to strategize about advocating for youth in national policy.
In July we launched a brand new youth engagement initiative, our Change Fellows program. Designed by youth, the Change Fellows are ten young people who have big ideas to stir up change in their communities. The fellowship is a one-year program that offers financial support, professional development and an opportunity for further financial investments from Youthprise toward the implementation of their big idea.
2013 was also a big year for supporting the out-of-school time field through granting and partnerships. In September we awarded $1.7 million in competitive grants to 75 organizations to build their capacity to serve youth. Grant recipients represent a mix of small and large organizations. The grantees include two geographically-based cohorts: in north Minneapolis in collaboration with the Northside Achievement Zone and in Saint Paul with three neighborhood-based community centers.
Additionally we have collaborated with cross-sector partners – with Little Earth of United Tribes to launch YouthBuild Little Earth and to support the expansion of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, to address issues among “opportunity youth” – youth who have become disconnected from school, work and community.
In October we hosted our inaugural annual summit in partnership with the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center at the Science Museum of Minnesota. This year’s theme was Accelerating Innovation and Leadership Beyond the Classroom. We invited keynote speakers from the University ofMinnesota’s School of Design to talk about Design Thinking and experts from Rainbow Research to share initial results from a baseline study of OST program participation. Presentations for the breakout sessions featured a variety of speakers: community-based organizations, national partners, professional development partners, researchers in the out-of-school time field, and of course, youth! Our Youth Innovators, Shanell McCoy and Jorge Rivas, emceed the event.
In October Youthprise was recognized by Philanthropedia as a top nonprofit in Minnesota working in the field of educational support for at-risk youth. This designation was made even more special because more than half of the list of 20 nonprofits recognized by Philanthropedia are grantees or partners of Youthprise.
November brought Give to the Max Day and community members, youth and organizations showed their support for our work! We awarded nine organizations a total of $20,000 as part of our Give to the Max Day video contest. This year’s theme was #LegacyofChange and we asked organizations to showcase their work done in partnership with youth. Additionally, we reached our own fundraising goal of $7,000 to fund a Change Fellow in 2014 through the generous support of individual donors.
Although December was a month of continued hard work, it was also a time for celebration. Our Director of Strategic Initiatives, Marcus Pope, welcomed his first child, Alyssa Parker Pope, into the Youthprise family. The Current’s Morning Show selected Youthprise as the winner for their monthly Coffee Break series and brought treats and coffee along with singer/songwriter and social justice advocate Thao Nguyen (from Thao and the Get Down Stay Down). It was a morning of music and excitement in our office!
This has certainly been an exciting year. We have learned so much from our partners, community members and the youth in our office and in our community. We look forward to continued learning and continued partnership in 2014.