A new $3.925 million, three-year Cargill Foundation grant will support Minneapolis Public Schools STEM programs and Achieve Twin Cities high school career and college readiness services in Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools
MINNEAPOLIS (June 15, 2023) – In a region with some of the country’s widest opportunity gaps by race in education, employment, wages and housing, local partners are coming together to reimagine what is possible for Minnesota’s youth. By supporting programs and strategies that prepare young people to succeed in careers, college and life, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), Achieve Twin Cities and The Cargill Foundation are building a more equitable community.
MPS, Achieve Twin Cities and The Cargill Foundation today announced a major three-year investment through a $3.925 million grant to support MPS’ Girls in Engineering, Math and Science (GEMS) and Guys in Science and Engineering (GISE); further development of the MPS STEM for All curriculum; and Achieve Twin Cities career and college readiness centers in 28 MPS and Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) high schools. The grant will provide critical support for student academic success and career and college initiatives through 2026.
The Cargill Foundation is the largest funder for Achieve Twin Cities, providing more than $26.8 million in grants since 2000 for both Achieve Twin Cities and Minneapolis Public Schools. With a longstanding commitment to advancing racial equity, The Cargill Foundation’s mission to eliminate the opportunity gap for low-income children of color in the Twin Cities remains unchanged. In 2022, nearly 80% of The Cargill Foundation’s annual $14 million contribution supported low-income children and families of color in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
“At Cargill, we strive to advance racial equity, and we believe in preparing and inspiring children for postsecondary education, careers and beyond,” said Michelle Grogg, Vice President for Global Corporate Responsibility at Cargill and Executive Director of The Cargill Foundation. “Through partnerships with organizations like Achieve Twin Cities, The Cargill Foundation is dedicated to connecting low-income youth of color in our Twin Cities headquarters community to a strong educational foundation.”
This new three-year investment will provide support for the following programs:
- MPS Girls in Engineering, Math and Science (GEMS) and Guys in Science and Engineering (GISE) programs. These after-school and summer programs for grades K-8 offer engaging STEM opportunities for MPS students early in their educational experience. GEMS and GISE provide opportunities to break down perceived barriers to success around math and science skills and increase access to STEM programing for girls, students of color and other underrepresented students.
- MPS STEM for All. STEM for All is an initiative to fundamentally shift how MPS provides STEM education and help the district achieve its strategic goal of eliminating obstacles that prevent all students from receiving equitable access to STEM programming and opportunities. This grant will support efforts to build increased student and family engagement for STEM learning experiences through K-8 activities that enhance core instruction, and intergenerational STEM affinity events for diverse learners and families.
- Achieve Twin Cities Career and College Readiness Services in MPS and SPPS high schools. Achieve Twin Cities is a national leader in career and college readiness support for underrepresented students. In partnership with both school districts, and as the only universal career and college readiness provider in these districts, its school-based services in 28 MPS and SPPS high schools provide personalized, comprehensive career and postsecondary advising, resources and connections for 18,000 students each year. 95% of students who use these services graduate with a postsecondary career pathway plan, and BIPOC and low-income youth who use these services enroll in postsecondary programs at 69% and 79% higher rates than those who do not.
“The Cargill Foundation’s longtime support of MPS students creates a brighter future for Minneapolis as a whole,” said MPS Interim Superintendent Rochelle Cox. “We are able to reach not just more students, but more students new to our community. This summer, MPS is serving nearly three times as many bilingual Spanish-speaking students as we did last summer. Thank you, Cargill!”
“As one of our organization’s strongest partners, the Cargill Foundation supports our work with Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools to achieve academic excellence and career and college readiness for all students,” said Achieve Twin Cities President and CEO Danielle Grant. “We are honored to facilitate this collaboration and will use this generous support to ensure that each and every student has the guidance and resources they need to access high-demand, living-wage careers. Our partnership is absolutely critical in addressing our community’s wide opportunity gaps and is integral not only to the lives and long-term financial independence of our students, but also the health and vitality of our entire region.”
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 Achieve Twin Cities
Achieve Twin Cities rallies community support and delivers best-in-class programs to inspire and equip young people in Minneapolis and Saint Paul for careers, college and life. Our vision is that all students have full and equitable access to postsecondary education and career opportunities, resulting in a more just and vibrant community. We direct career and college readiness services for over 18,000 students each year in 28 Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools high schools, provide paid internship opportunities through Step Up and Achieve College Internships, host EDTalks and other public engagement events, and serve as the nonprofit foundation for Minneapolis Public Schools. Learn more at www.achievetwincities.org.
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