The McKnight Foundation founded Youthprise in 2010 to increase the quality, accessibility, sustainability and innovation of learning opportunities for youth beyond the classroom. The charge for the new intermediary was a bold one – to ensure that ALL Minnesota youth thrive. With guidance from an illustrious advisory committee and a founding Board of Directors, McKnight encouraged Youthprise to listen to the voices of young people, to give them a seat at the table and to build programs and systems that are responsive to their needs – and guided by their ideas. In 2011, McKnight launched Youthprise with a 3-year $11 million grant that included $1 million for the first year of start-up and $5 million per year for the next two years. In 2014, the grant was renewed for 3 years for a total of $14.5 million.
In August 2015, the Corporation for National and Community Service awarded Youthprise a 3-year $3 million Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant to launch Opportunity Reboot. The SIF unites public and private resources to evaluate and grow innovative community-based solutions with evidence of results. Opportunity Reboot supports career pathway approaches targeting “opportunity youth” throughout the state of Minnesota.
In May 2016, the Minnesota Legislature approved one-time funding of $1 million to Youthprise for the Somali Youth Development Fund. Administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the grant provides resources for Youthprise to invest in community-based organizations serving Somali youth that provide programming related to positive youth development, community engagement, legal services, and capacity building. Services can include youth engagement, prevention of youth involvement in justice system, and intervention activities that help build the resiliency of the Somali Minnesota community and address challenges facing Somali youth.
Minnesota Philanthropy Partners has been a strong supporter of Youthprise since its inception. Funding from the Saint Paul, Mardag and F.R. Bigelow Foundations supports Youthprise’s efforts to strengthen youth-serving organizations and systems in the east metro.
Hennepin County partners with Youthprise to support Better Together Hennepin, a teen pregnancy prevention initiative that emphasizes healthy youth development, comprehensive sexuality education, accessible reproductive health services, and connections to caring adults.
Youthprise partners with Ramsey County Community Corrections to support a High Fidelity Wraparound program focused on youth and families in the Juvenile Corrections system. Through a competitive process, the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood was selected to deliver innovative youth and family focused strategies that address key success indicators for youth development and public safety such as education, afterschool time and positive family support.
The Minneapolis Foundation supports Youthprise initiatives to build the capacity of youth-serving nonprofits based in the Somali community and to organize Minneapolis youth to have their voices be heard in reforming the education system.