Minneapolis, Minn. (May 31, 2012) – Minnesota Alliance With Youth has been awarded a capacity building grant from Youthprise. Youthprise announced today partnership investments in two Twin Cities nonprofits in the youth development field: Minnesota Alliance With Youth and youthrive. Together, the three organizations will work to elevate youth voice in policy decisions and build more effective youth-adult partnerships in the out-of-school time field.
As an intermediary, Youthprise is committed to harnessing the collective ideas, resources and capacity of the Minnesota community – including youth – to promote more systematic approaches to delivering and supporting high quality learning opportunities beyond the classroom.
“We are eager to work in partnership – not in competition – with youth, youth-serving organizations, policy makers, funders and others stakeholders to ensure all Minnesota’s youth thrive,” explained Youthprise President Wokie Weah. “Our partnerships with the Minnesota Alliance With Youth and youthrive will ensure that youth have a place at the table as we work to improve quality and promote greater access in the out-of-school time field. Youth and adults working together in partnership will create new solutions that help move us forward as a state.”
The Minnesota Alliance With Youth will develop a replicable model for youth engagement and authentic youth-adult partnerships through the expansion of the Minnesota Youth Council (MYC). The MYC is a statewide body of 36 youth and their adult partners from all eight Minnesota Congressional Districts. A bill currently in the Minnesota Legislature would authorize the MYC to represent youth constituents to Minnesota policy-makers. In addition, MYC members play an instrumental role in their communities as leaders in civic and youth engagement. “We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to partner with Youthprise in the expansion of the Minnesota Youth Council. It’s truly a fundamental shift in how young people have been involved. The potential for real systemic change not only at the local level, but in how we will ultimately change young people’s role in the decision making process at the legislative level is highly significant, and in the end, will benefit all of Minnesota’s citizens,” said Sarah Dixon, President & CEO of the Minnesota Alliance With Youth.
Youthprise’s partnership with youthrive will provide training to elevate the skills of individuals, programs and organizations targeting under-served and under-engaged youth in the out-of-school time field through youthrive’s Circle of Youth Engagement, an interactive training program that promotes youth-adult partnerships. The reputation of youthrive for authentically engaging youth throughout the organization and its past success in developing curriculum and training tools were important considerations in the decision for Youthprise’s significant investment. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to leverage this transformational partnership and work to immediately reduce barriers for professional development around youth-adult partnerships,” said Donna Cook, founder and Executive Director of youthrive.
Youthprise also announced recently that it has approved $2.1 million in grants to 101 organizations throughout the Twin Cities to expand access to quality learning opportunities beyond the classroom. A full list of organizations receiving funding is available at www.youthprise.org/grantees.
MORE on Youthprise: Youthprise was founded in 2010 by The McKnight Foundation to increase the quality, accessibility, sustainability and innovation of opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. Youthprise works collaboratively with municipalities, funders, policymakers, program providers, youth and parents to ensure that all Minnesota youth, especially young people who are traditionally underserved, have access to affordable, quality learning opportunities during out-of-school time. For more information on Youthprise, visit www.youthprise.org.
MORE on Minnesota Alliance With Youth: Founded in 1997, the Minnesota Alliance With Youth is Minnesota’s leading convener, collaborator and capacity-builder for youth development, working with and for youth to ensure that all young people have access to the Five Promises: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education and opportunities to help others. The Alliance is the Minnesota affiliate of the America’s Promise Alliance and contributes resources to schools, communities and partner organizations across the state in the form of 116 AmeriCorps Promise Fellows. For more information about Minnesota Alliance With Youth, visit www.mnyouth.net.
MORE on youthrive: Incorporated in 2005, youthrive has inspired and engaged youth and adults through education, leadership, and service to integrate peace-making activities into their lives, their communities, and the world. It is the lead organization for the International PeaceJam Foundation’s Upper Midwest region and trains students and adult allies on a standards-based curriculum rooted in the lives of thirteen Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. Through the Circle of Youth Engagement training, youthrive provides technical assistance and professional development on how to build and maintain effective youth-adult partnerships. http://www.youthrive.net/