African Immigrant Youth Career Development Grant Program

Grant Priorities

Youthprise envisions a Minnesota where outcomes for youth are no longer predictable by race, geography, or socioeconomic status. In commitment to our vision, we partnered with Ka Joog, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)*, and young people to design and host the newly expanded African Immigrant Youth Career Development Grant Program. Funds for this project were appropriated from the 2023 Minnesota Legislature.

Through focus groups with African Immigrant youth and Youthprise staff, we identified six program priorities. These priorities shaped our grant application, scoring rubric, and community grant review process.

Young people are most interested in career development and work readiness programming that fosters, prioritizes, and acts on youth voice. Specifically, in our work with youth that identify from African Immigrant communities, they named wanting opportunities to inform and lead.
Young people are looking for a place to be themselves, relate with others, and build peer-to-peer connections and networks within their cultural communities and across different communities. They are interested in celebrating together, learning together, and growing together.
Young people are looking for trustworthy and invested adults that share cultural contexts and connections, to help guide their personal and professional growth. They are interested in internships, apprenticeships, and fellowships that allow them to gain experience in a supportive environment.
Young people are seeking support in navigating complex white dominant cultural systems and norms that come into tension with their cultural norms and beliefs. These include but are not limited to job searching, post-secondary education, industry credentialing, finances, transportation, housing, and community services.
Young people want to have the space to dream, explore possibilities, and experiment with different career paths and professions in the context of their personal, family, and community hopes and visions. They want to grow in their leadership and clarify their personal values, strengths, and unique skill sets.
Young people are interested in setting goals, both big and small, and creating plans to work toward them. They are also interested in strengthening their networking and public speaking skills, as well as job application and interviewing skills.

Community Grant Review Process

We recruited a diverse team of 30 community grant reviewers to help make these funding decisions. We were looking for individuals, ages 16+, with experience (either personal or professional) in African Immigrant culture, workforce/economic development, career training/work readiness, and industry and/or education credentialing.

Here's a look at who participated


  • 9 young people, ages 16-24
  • 21 adults
    • 5 individuals ages 26-30
    • 6 individuals ages 31-40
    • 3 individuals ages 41-50
    • 5 individuals 50+
    • 2 individuals who did not disclose.


  • 13 identified as African (Liberian, Oromo, Somali, etc.)
  • 11 identified as Black or African American
  • 2 identified as White/Caucasian (European American)
  • 2 did not disclose
  • 1 identified as Hispanic or Latino/a (Mexican, Ecuadorian, etc.)
  • 1 Identified as native American or American Indian
Community grant reviewers received training, reviewed and scored 10-12 grant applications via our online grant portal, and then attended a community grant reviewer scoring meeting to make the funding decisions. Community grant reviewers received a stipend for their participation in this grantmaking process.

Interested in participating in a community grant review process with Youthprise?

Click here to let us know!

Future Opportunities

Our year two RFP will be opening later this year. Stay up-to-date on our latest grant openings by subscribing to our grants e-newsletter or following us on social media. You can find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and LinkedIn.


Contact Program & Grants Manager Abby Wellan at

*The State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) funded (in whole or in part) this workforce development product (training, event, curricula, etc.) through a grant. The grant recipient created this product. DEED does not endorse this product or make guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership of the information herein or elsewhere.