What We Do

Achieve Twin Cities rallies community support and delivers best-in-class programs to inspire and equip young people for careers, college and life.

We provide career and college readiness programs for Minneapolis and Saint Paul students.

High School Career and College Readiness Centers

We partner with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) to offer a wide range of career and postsecondary planning guidance and resources for 18,000 high school students each year.  

Through physical centers embedded in over 25 MPS and SPPS high schools and additional virtual services, we create a supportive landing space for students and families to connect with expert guidance, resources and opportunities in their path to self-discovery.

As the sole universal career and college readiness provider in both school districts, Achieve services are open to all students for discovering, exploring and planning for life after high school.

Two adults and two students standing together in a classroom

Step Up Youth Employment Program

Step Up connects Minneapolis youth (ages 14-21) with paid internships, career exploration, professional mentors and training that can help build careers and lead to a diverse, skilled and equitable workforce. In partnership with over 200 employers in 15 industries, Step Up has created over 30,000 high-quality internship opportunities since 2003.

Step Up helps young people discover new careers, make professional connections and develop their resumes. For employers, Step Up helps diversify their workforce and build a strong base of young, skilled talent that can keep our future regional economy and our communities strong and vibrant. 

Step Up is a partnership of Achieve Twin Cities, the City of Minneapolis, CareerForce Minneapolis and Project for Pride in Living.

Adult and student together in an office

Achieve College Internships

Achieve College Internships provides high-quality paid summer internships, training, professional mentors and networks for college juniors at local companies and organizations. The program is designed to help young professionals launch their careers in the Twin Cities and provide opportunities for employers to discover and support new talent.

In partnership with the Minnesota Private College Fund, we provide a direct line to talented and diverse college students who are motivated, committed to Minnesota and on an established leadership trajectory.

Bringing rich professional, academic and personal experience to their internships, participants include alums of the Step Up Youth Employment Program and African American male scholars from Minnesota Private College Fund scholarship and leadership programs.

Two people sitting at office desk with laptop, smiling at the camera

We connect young people with local professionals to explore careers and training opportunities.

Career Exploration Events

Achieve school-year career events inspire and inform students about a wide range of career opportunities as they plan for life after graduation. Professionals from the trades, business, healthcare, the arts, STEM, government and other sectors share their personal career journeys and insights with young people. Local employers provide information on internships, jobs and training opportunities.

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Student in classroom raising her hand

Step Up Mock Interviews

Each spring, the annual Step Up Mock Interviews pairs youth participants with volunteers for one-on-one coaching to practice their job interview skills in preparation for summer Step Up internships and other career exploration. Volunteers interview students and provide helpful feedback for strengthening their skills and professional presentation.

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students and adults sitting at tables talking

We host public events to strengthen understanding and advocacy for our young people.


Based on the TEDTalks model, EDTalks raises public awareness of critical topics and strengthens community engagement and advocacy with and on behalf of our young people. It also provides a platform for creative leaders to showcase innovative ideas, share successes in their work, gain insight and feedback from colleagues, connect with community audiences and identify growth opportunities.

Woman on stage giving a speech

Principal Partner Day and Other Public Events

Achieve co-hosts the annual Principal Partner Day with Minneapolis Public Schools, which matches community leaders with principals for a half-day shadowing opportunity. We also invite community members to visit our school centers for Achieve 101 events, and host thought leader gatherings focused on key issues impacting our young people.

Achieve CEO Danielle Grant standing with Federal Reserve president Neal Kashkari

We serve as the MPS nonprofit foundation, managing district funds and supporting resource development.

As the nonprofit foundation for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), Achieve Twin Cities manages school and department funds, mini-grants for educators and classrooms, and college scholarships for students.

School and Department Grants

Achieve manages a dedicated fund for each MPS school and department that has been approved by the district. We receive private donations for these funds and make approved payments and reimbursements for special projects and activities.

Educator and Classroom Mini-Grants

Achieve administers three pools of small grants for MPS teachers and staff to support professional development opportunities, classroom activities and field trip transportation. These include Links to Learning grants, Minneapolis Educator Leadership Awards and other small grants funded by community donations.

College Scholarships

Achieve Twin Cities works with MPS to administer and award over 70 college scholarships each year to MPS seniors and recent graduates for postsecondary education. Each year, over 70 MPS college scholarships are awarded at a value of over $170,000.

Resource Development

We also partner with the MPS development team to secure major grants from foundations and corporations for career and college readiness programs, early literacy, STEM education and other strategic district priorities.

Student sitting in front of laptop with college pennants behind her.
Four people in classroom talking with students

Find out how you can get engaged with Achieve by volunteering, hiring interns or providing financial support.