Youthprise, Ka Joog and 4H are prepping Youth for College
In Partnership with Youthprise, Ka Joog and 4H are Preparing Youth for College
Ka Joog is taking off and so are the youth they serve. As part of our Accelerator Initiative, Youthprise provided start-up funds to Ka Joog in 2014. Then, we linked them with the 4-H program of the University of Minnesota Extension, which allowed the organization to launch the Ka Joog 4-H Club within their Takeoff afterschool program. Takeoff has two tracks – c one focuses on homework help and mentoring and the other focuses on 4-H. With the pilot of the 4-H Club in the spring of 2014 in Eden Prairie, the program has expanded to Minneapolis and St. Paul sites, fully operating in three locations.
The Ka Joog 4-H program works closely with youth and their families. Youth that don’t live near program sites are able to attend programming through staff and parent coordination of transportation. The club also offers a unique experience, engaging parents and running the program bilingually in both Somali and English.
The program connects students to higher education and career opportunities through campus immersion, a 4-day/3-night program and industry visits. Through campus immersion, students experience campus life, engage in future planning activities using a 4-H curriculum, share their educational plans with family and community members, and explore STEM topics with University faculty and students. In the past, youth were also given the opportunity to attend an industry visit to 3M headquarters to meet with 3M scientists and engage in hands-on engineering activities.
The idea of going to college and pursing careers in high demand fields was a new concept for many youth involved the program. By giving youth the opportunity to build relationships with University of Minnesota faculty and students, the youth have built a sense of belonging on a college campus. The Ka Joog 4-H program has actualized what it means to pursue a college education and careers in STEAM (science, technology, arts, and math).
Since the start of the program, Youthprise has brought partners together and funded the full time 4-H program coordinator position to Mohamed Farah, Ka Joog’s executive director. There has been great progress over the last two years for this innovation Ka Joog – University of Minnesota Extension – Youthprise partnership that combines the strength of all three partners to really help youth take off!