Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $10,000

Located in Minneapolis, serves metro area. Founded in 1905, GMCC is an interfaith and intercultural organization that provides services and advocacy around equity and poverty, volunteerism and service learning, mentoring and youth development and food security. During the pandemic, the agency leveraged its existing relationships with the Somali community in south Minneapolis and CARES Act funding to create a learning pod initiative to provide Somali families with wrap-around services including courses for mothers in computer literacy, food, and tutoring support for youth.

Grant supports merging an existing mentoring program, Kinship Greater Twin Cities, with GMCC’s Learning Pod program to create a new youth program called the Digital Café and Learning Lab. The program will serve 70 Somali youth ages 6-12. The program will give youth a choice of soccer, art, community gardening, outdoor activities and academic mentoring. Additionally, youth, mentors and their families with have access to mental health support through a BIPOC mental health program called Creative Kuponya that is based nearby.