January 3, 2017
By Melissa Butler, AmeriCorps VISTA serving at Minneapolis Public Schools
A highlight of my VISTA Service has been assisting the City of Minneapolis with recruitment for Pathways to Emergency & Academy Career Experiences (PEACE) Program. The aim of this program is to provide youth who have had or could have contact with the juvenile courts with a mentor in the emergency or justice fields. This mentor could be an attorney, emergency medical technician, firefighter, or sheriff. Youth must be able to graduate within two years and be between the ages of 16-21. During the first year we hope to have fifty mentor/mentee pairs.
Participants who are attending Minneapolis Public Schools will receive a Check and Connect Monitor who will help to ensure success in the program. Once a month, ‘Mini Academies’ will be held that will give youth hands on experience and/or certification (i.e. CPR) in an area. During the summer, participants will receive a paid internship through StepUp in their area of interest.
I have been contacting counselors/school faculty/ Check and Connect Monitors to identify students who would benefit from participating in the PEACE Program. If the student qualifies and completes the application a Check and Connect Monitor will meet with them to fill out an interest survey and answer any further questions.
There is still space for participants, so if you know a young person who attends Minneapolis Public Schools that would be interested in the PEACE Program, please email me!
[From “Voices From the Field: Reflections from Minnesota Alliance With Youth’s AmeriCorps Members.” Winter 2017.]