June 7 2017

MPS, AchieveMpls and Cargill partner to boost local career and college readiness by 2020

Media Release

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As the school year wraps up, local partners are looking ahead with a focus on practical solutions to help close the achievement gap and prepare the future workforce.

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and AchieveMpls, in partnership with the Cargill Foundation, today announced a major three-year investment of $4 million for MPS Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID); Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs; and AchieveMpls Career & College Centers in MPS high schools. The grant will provide critical support for student academic success and career and college readiness through 2020.

Cargill, a global agriculture, food and nutrition company, is the largest local corporate funder for MPS, providing more than $16 million in grants over the last decade. In its headquarters community, the Cargill Foundation invests in programs that help close the achievement gap, prepare students for the future workforce and ensure that children are well nourished so they can learn.

This new three-year investment will provide support for the following programs:

  • Girls in Engineering, Math and Science (GEMS) and Guys in Science and Engineering (GISE) programs. These single-gender after-school and summer programs for grades K-8 offer engaging STEM opportunities for students early in their educational experience.
  • Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID). This proven college readiness program for middle and high school students is being expanded to 4th & 5th graders to help prepare them for middle school and place them on a college readiness path.
  • AchieveMpls Career & College Centers. Located in nine MPS high schools (and expanding to two additional MPS schools in fall 2017), these Centers are campus hubs for career and post-secondary planning and offer personalized guidance to 9,000 students each year.

“We are deeply grateful to all those who stand beside Minneapolis Public Schools and make investments in our children’s futures,” said MPS Superintendent Ed Graff. “The Cargill Foundation’s support will help our district better meet our students’ needs while providing enriching educational experiences that prepare them for both school and life. When we come together as a community to serve our kids, we can help them reach their full potential and graduate ready for college and careers.”

“As one of the district’s strongest partners, Cargill is helping MPS achieve its strategic goals of academic excellence and career and college readiness for all students,” said AchieveMpls President and CEO Danielle Grant. “AchieveMpls is honored to help facilitate this collaboration, and will use this generous support for our Career & College Centers to ensure that all MPS students have the guidance and resources they need to access high-demand, living-wage careers.”

“Cargill’s support will help advance the district’s efforts to increase equitable access to STEM programming and college and career readiness,” said Michelle Grogg, Cargill Foundation Executive Director. “AchieveMpls and Minneapolis Public Schools are working hard to improve academic achievement for all students. Cargill knows that the success of every student shapes the future of our community.”

For more information, contact Jane Austin, 612-455-1564 or jaustin@achievempls.org or Tom Vandyck, 952-742-6246 or tom_vandyck@cargill.com.

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About Minneapolis Public Schools
In the heart of Minneapolis lies a diverse, urban school district committed to promoting learning and accelerating student outcomes for more than 35,000 students in over 70 schools. Every day, nearly 7,300 devoted staff members help students prepare to graduate college and career ready. Visit our website at www.mpls.k12.mn.us.

About AchieveMpls
As the strategic nonprofit partner of Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), our shared goal is every student career and college ready. Each year we offer personalized resources and support for 9,000 students through our Career & College Centers in MPS high schools, provide 750 paid internships and work readiness training for Minneapolis youth through the STEP-UP Achieve youth employment program (part of the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP program), connect 800 community volunteers with students as Graduation Coaches and career exploration volunteers, raise support for MPS strategic priorities, and manage MPS school and department funds. Learn more at www.achievempls.org.

About Cargill
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and 150 years of experience. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.