YMCA of the North

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $10,000

Based in Minneapolis, serves Twin Cities metro area. The YMCA Beacons after-school program engages youth as leaders and learners transforming schools into active youth centers after school and in the summer, providing free educational, recreational and leadership activities for youth and their families. The Beacons network is a public-private partnership that includes the YMCA, YWCA, Boys & Girls Club, and Minneapolis Community Education

Grant supports Beacons’ recent launch of a program focusing on culinary arts and nutrition at Nellie Stone Johnson in north Minneapolis and at Anne Sullivan/Anishinaabe Academy in south Minneapolis. Both programs are paired with nearby high schools, allowing older students to mentor the elementary students. Older mentors are paid. As with all of Beacons’ expansions, this one was drive by youth interest. Beacons is very conscious of the need for trauma-informed training for all its youth workers, who receive continuous training through the YMCA. The program also makes use of the school social workers in the schools, when needed, in which the programs are located.