Social Innovation Fund: Opportunity Reboot

In August 2015, the Corporation for National and Community Service awarded Youthprise a $3 million grant from the Social Innovation Fund. The grant covers a three year period, with the option for two additional years of funding, subject to federal appropriations. Youthprise provides a $1 million match and sub-grantees must also provide a 1:1 local match.

About the Social Innovation Fund

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The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) unites public and private resources to evaluate and grow innovative community-based solutions with evidence of results. The SIF and its private-sector partners have invested more than half a billion dollars in compelling community solutions. As a result, the SIF has awarded grants to more than 35 community-based organizations and over 180 nonprofits working in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

Authorized by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in April of 2009, the Social Innovation Fund is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency focused on improving lives, strengthening communities, and fostering civic engagement through service and volunteering. Together, service and innovation provide a vehicle to harness the power of ordinary people and unleash the potential of innovative ideas to help address our communities’ toughest social problems and transform lives. For more information, please visit

About Opportunity Reboot


Focused on advancing Youth Development and Economic Opportunity, the Social Innovation Fund program – Opportunity Reboot – funds career pathway approaches targeting “opportunity youth” throughout the state of Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) – Office of Youth Development, Search Institute and the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM) are key partners in the initiative. You can learn about our RFP process here.

The funding builds 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.

Grantees Announced

List of Opportunity Reboot grantees:

Amherst H. Wilder Foundation: Three-year grant totaling $615,000 ($205,000 annually) to support culturally competent employment and educational programs and wraparound services for 44 to 65 homeless youth at Prior Crossing, a youth housing facility in Saint Paul, MN. Youth will be provided with: (a) a safe and supportive housing environment, (b) youth development programming, (c) culturally-competent, strengths-based case management, (d) connections to educational opportunities, (e) workforce development training, and (f) facilitated connections to employment and internship opportunities. Saint Paul, Minnesota        

Guadalupe Alternative Program (GAP): Three-year grant totaling $600,000 ($200,000 annually) to scale up a YouthBuild model for over 100 participants from Saint Paul’s West Side, Dayton’s Bluff, Payne-Phalen, and Greater East Side neighborhoods. GAP’s YouthBuild program supports young adults’ (ages 18-24) lives by giving them the tools and credentials needed to achieve school, career, and life success. The program provides comprehensive wraparound services along with secondary and post-secondary education, workforce preparation, and credentialing. In addition, participants have access to academic and social-emotional supports in-house, and from partnerships with multiple community agencies and education institutions. Saint Paul, Minnesota

Initiative Foundation/Sauk Rapids-Rice School District:  Three-year grant totaling $618,000 ($206,000 annually) to develop and implement a collaborative model for secondary students who are disconnected from school and education, and thus, at risk of dropping out. The project will implement the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Model (I­-BEST) to serve 166 young people age 14-20, all of whom are economically disadvantaged and/or disconnected from school, 50% of who are from communities of color and 25% who have disabilities. Partnering organization staff will work collaboratively with school staff to provide mentoring, authentic internship experiences, and career guidance support.  Sauk Rapids, Minnesota

Migizi Communications: Three-year grant totaling $702,000 ($234,000 annually) to support the Green Jobs Pathway that will involve 60 disconnected Indian youth per year to receive education, training, supports, and experiences needed to prepare them to become financially independent, self-determining adults. The project will utilize the Back On Track model developed by Jobs for the Future to create a career pathway for American Indian youth to discover their cultural role as caretakers of the Earth, develop strong workplace skills, learn through their experience, and complete postsecondary coursework and credentials of value to secure living wage jobs as they build a career in the Green Economy. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative: Three-year grant totaling $579,000 ($193,000 annually) to launch the “Tri-City Bridges to the Future” initiative, a new collaborative in Faribault, Red Wing, and Northfield, including the MN Correctional Facility-Red Wing. The initiative will offer career pathways approaches for 85 youth ages 14-24 in the three cities who are in foster care; involved in the juvenile justice system; are homeless; and/or are disconnected from school and work. The primary focus is high school completion with dual enrollment options through partnerships with area higher education institutions and postsecondary training in career clusters that have clear pathways to higher degrees. Northfield, Minnesota                         

SOAR Career Solutions: Three-year grant totaling $636,000 ($212,000 annually) is a partnership between SOAR, Life House, the Duluth Workforce Center, Adult Basic Education, ISD 709, Lake Superior College and Woodland Hills. This project will increase employment readiness skills for “Opportunity Youth” ages 16-24 through stabilization supports (i.e. mental health, chemical dependency health, housing, food, clothing), relationship building, career exploration services, work experiences, soft-skills training, self-awareness trainings, education and employment opportunities. This project incorporates transitional and traditional employment readiness models in order to meet individualized needs of youth. Duluth, Minnesota


For more information on Youthprise’s Social Innovation Fund: Opportunity Reboot, contact our Vice President, Marcus Pope at

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