October 29 2019

Thanks to our 2019 Community Partner Champions Best Buy, Cargill and U.S. Bank

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We're proud to introduce our 2019 Community Partners, 36 businesses, public agencies and nonprofits that have provided outstanding support to high school students through AchieveMpls career and college readiness programs during the 2018-19 fiscal year (July 2018 – June 2019). 

These Community Partners include three levels of recognition, with three Champions – Best Buy, Cargill and U.S. Bank – eight Advocates and 25 Allies who have made generous financial gifts to AchieveMpls or have been significantly engaged in our programmatic work by hiring Step Up high school interns; providing employee volunteers for career exploration events, Step Up mock interviews or Graduation Coaches; hosting worksite tours at their companies; or serving as major project partners.

“At AchieveMpls, we believe that all young people can succeed in college, careers and life if they have access to the right resources and support,” says President and CEO Danielle Grant. “And with 75% of all jobs in our region now requiring some form of education beyond high school, we’re fiercely dedicated to equipping students with the knowledge and skills to achieve their dreams. Our tremendous thanks to these generous Community Partners for saying ‘yes’ to our students and ensuring that they have the tools and connections they need to become our next generation of dynamic and skilled leaders.” 

AchieveMpls Champions

Our three 2019 Champions have exhibited extraordinary commitment through financial contributions of $50,000 or more, as well as programmatic engagement at the very highest levels.

Best Buy
Now in its third year as an AchieveMpls Champion, Best Buy has been Presenting Sponsor for our annual fundraising event for over a decade and offers additional financial support for our career and college readiness programs. Best Buy is also a dedicated Step Up employer, providing high-quality paid internships and professional mentoring for students at its corporate headquarters. Mat Watson, Best Buy Senior Vice President for Finance, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, serves on the AchieveMpls board of directors, and is one of dozens of Best Buy team members who have mentored students as career exploration volunteers, Step Up mock interviewers or Graduation Coaches.  

This new Champion is the largest single private funder for AchieveMpls, and has also provided significant support for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) for student academic success and career and college readiness. Over the past decade, Cargill has awarded over $16 million in grants to support Minneapolis students, including critical funding for AchieveMpls Career & College Centers and MPS STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) programs. Cargill is also recognized for its employee volunteer service with AchieveMpls programs and for hosting a worksite tour event for over 60 Minneapolis high school students. Cargill Foundation Executive Director Michelle Grogg, who also serves as Cargill Vice President for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development, provides her expertise on the AchieveMpls board of directors.

U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank has been an AchieveMpls Champion for five years, providing extraordinary program and financial support. U.S. Bank was a founding Step Up employer when the program was launched in 2003, and since then has hired and mentored 479 interns, more than any other private sector employer. Company leaders – including Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer Kate Quinn and former Executive Chairman Richard Davis – have been among the program’s strongest advocates in the Twin Cities business community, and the bank has regularly sponsored key public Step Up events with employer partners and interns. U.S. Bank also provides numerous employee volunteers for AchieveMpls programs, and Kristina Carlson, U.S. Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel, serves on the AchieveMpls board.

AchieveMpls Advocates

Our eight Advocates made substantial gifts of $25,000-$49,999 or were highly engaged in multiple AchieveMpls programs, including Step Up, career exploration events, Step Up mock interviews and Graduation Coaches. They include:

  • Accenture
  • Allianz
  • General Mills
  • Graco Inc.
  • State of Minnesota
  • Target
  • University of Minnesota
  • Wells Fargo

AchieveMpls Allies

These 25 organizations made financial gifts of $10,000-$24,999 or devoted significant time and expertise for our programs with high school students. See our full list of 2019 Allies.

To learn how you can become an AchieveMpls Community Partner, contact Jeremiah Brown at 612-455-1562.