AchieveMpls focuses on three areas of work: preparing students for careers and college, engaging our community for student success, and supporting Minneapolis Public Schools strategic initiatives.
1. We prepare students for careers and college
AchieveMpls works hard to ensure career and college readiness for all students who have the dream, desire and drive to make that goal a reality.
AchieveMpls Career & College Centers (CCCs) are located in each MPS high school, providing comprehensive resources and information for students and parents. Our CCCs are staffed by full-time coordinators and offer personal support to help students plan for life after high school. They also serve as a hub for community volunteers and business partners who lend their professional and personal expertise to support student college access and career readiness.
The STEP-UP Achieve summer jobs program – part of the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP program – recruits, trains, and places talented young people from Minneapolis in competitive paid summer jobs in local companies, nonprofits, and government agencies. In 2011, we placed 705 youth in jobs at over 140 organizations, providing critical work readiness training, professional experience, and career connections and mentoring. We are proud to be part of one of the country’s strongest youth employment programs, and one of the most innovative in creating strong public-private partnerships.
AchieveMpls is also part of the new Public Education Network College and Career Ready Compact, which is designed to increase by 100,000 the number of high school students in the US who graduate or are on track to graduate and are college or career ready by 2013.
2. We engage our community for student success
Community engagement is our core mission and strategy and at the heart of everything we do. As a bridge between Minneapolis Public Schools and the broader community, we engage and mobilize businesses, foundations, nonprofits, public agencies, and individuals to support MPS schools and students by becoming donors, volunteers, advocates, and advisers. Our priority community engagement focus this year is developing a new network of community graduation coaches and parent coaches – drawing on the expertise of MPS alumni and the local business community – with the goal of increasing career and college readiness for every MPS student.
3. We support Minneapolis Public School strategic initiatives
AchieveMpls helps raise and manage financial resources for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) strategic initiatives. The MPS Superintendent determines district priorities for private investment in our schools, and AchieveMpls then builds relationships with funders—businesses, foundations and individual donors—to secure those investments. We also monitor and report progress on grants to MPS and help hold MPS accountable for the private funds invested in the district.
AchieveMpls secured more than $14 million for MPS from the region’s leading corporations and foundations in 2011, including Cargill, General Mills, The McKnight Foundation, Medtronic, Target and many others. These funds support MPS career and college readiness, early literacy, STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math), Arts for Academic Achievement, AVID (a college preparatory curriculum), and leadership training for principals. We are grateful for these tremendous investments by our generous corporate partners.
AchieveMpls also manages over 100 small funds for MPS, providing technical assistance and reporting on individual school funds, student scholarships, mini-grants for teachers and students, and some departmental funds.