By The Project Development Committee
Junior League of Minneapolis members of the Project Development Committee had the opportunity to attend the 13th Annual Minnesota Mentoring Conference on October 15th at the University of Minnesota, hosted by Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota.
The day consisted of three key note speakers and workshops ranging from collective impact in action to service learning for youth. It was a great way for the committee members to be immersed in a full day of learning about mentoring as well as being surrounded by those individuals and organizations that live and breathe mentoring on a full time basis.
There were several new learnings from the research that was shared on mentoring, but the biggest take away was around the idea of Collective Impact and how community leaders, government agencies and non-profit organizations need to work together on a strategic level to move the needle in closing the achievement gap at every step of a child’s life. While the idea of Collective Impact seems like a huge undertaking it’s really working in places like Cincinnati with their Strive Together Program. This has been a big focus for Project Development this year as the committee develops new projects like Write to Thrive and HOMES and assesses existing projects. Project Development is working very closely with community partners, AchieveMpls (Write to Thrive partner) and Partnership Academy and GEMS/GISE (HOMES partners) to create projects that best meet the community needs.
Some additional key insights from the conference that will provide guidance specifically in the development of Write to Thrive, include:
- The most beneficial and successful mentorships have a strong, consistent & positive relationship between the a young person and caring and trusted adult.
- Several local organizations have existing and successful mentoring models to learn from (Check & Connect, ACES, Kids ‘n Kinship, Connected Kids)
- There is still huge a need for mentoring and research shows these relationships can significantly impact these children’s lives for the better
The new Minnesota Legislature will convene in only 55 days, on January 8, 2013. Who will serve in the 2013-2014 session? Get to know them by downloading the 2012 Election Directory put together by legislature staff.
In the House, the DFL will have a 73-61 majority. Of those elected, 31 percent are new to the House. In the Senate, where the DFL will hold a 39-28 majority, 30 percent are new members
Last week, new legislative leaders were selected. The Speaker of the House will be Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis) and the Minority Leader will be Rep. Kurt Daudt (GOP-Crown). In the Senate, Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL- Cook) will serve as Majority Leader, Sen. Sandra Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) as Senate President, and Sen. David Hann (GOP – Eden Prairie) as Minority Leader.
**Information from the Minnesota Council of NonProfits Legislative Update email.**
By Cristina Litt
It was a packed house at the 10th annual AchieveMPLS luncheon on Friday afternoon. Tables were filled with representatives from local businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions. The Junior League of Minneapolis filled one of those 50+ tables and we anxiously waited for the speakers to begin.
After the standard, welcomes and thank-yous, a high-school senior from Patrick Henry took the stage and immediately grabbed the attention of the noisy room. She was confident, proud and incredibly well spoken as she shared her story of perseverance and determination. An imprisoned father, a mother who attempted suicide, 5 younger siblings who needed her attention, and a neighborhood that had already taken 3 of her classmates to street violence by the age of 14. It has been a constant battle for her to decide between taking the streets (as she called it) and bettering herself through education. She talked about her younger siblings as her inspiration to stay focused and show them that they deserved better. And she has done exactly that – college bound, filled with hope and the ability to inspire a room filled with strangers.
Sitting there in amazement of this young lady, I began to think about her classmates facing similar obstacles and wondered do they all have the tenacity and strength that she has. Wes Moore, then took the stage and his book “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates”, addresses this very question. What about the stories that end in tragedy? What about all the kids that don’t make it and why? If I were to boil his whole story down into one statement, it is this: “we are a product of our own expectations”. Meaning if we expect to be successful, then we will find a way to make it happen and on the flip side if we expect to fail, we likely will find a way to make that happen to. The same is true for our community’s children, if we expect kids from the tougher neighborhoods to end up in jail, in low paying jobs or victim to street violence, then our kids will find a way to make it happen. But if we expect them to be successful, contributing citizens, then they will also find a way to make it happen.
And as a Junior League member and proud Minneapolis resident, I can tell you that I left the luncheon inspired and motivated to ensure that every student in our community feels like they have an opportunity to succeed and that we expect them to live up to that opportunity.
Did you know that children in low-income neighborhoods have limited access to books? Studies tell us the ratio of books to children is 1:300. That’s one book for 300 kids. In middle-income neighborhoods, it’s 13:1. In other words, 13 books for one child.
There is a Facebook campaign giving away books with every page like. There are only 2 days left to get involved…it’s a quick and easy way to get those in need books to read.
Click here for more information on the campaign. Or, head straight to the Facebook campaign and like their page by clicking here. Every like gets book in the hands of kids.
Here are some facts for Minnesota Voters. Tomorrow is the day, exercise your right to vote!
•You can register or update your registration on Election Day by providing a proof of residence.
• Most polling places open at 7am, but all polling places close at 8pm. If you are in line outside your polling place by 8pm on election night, you will still be allowed to vote. Those arriving after 8pm will not be allowed to vote. Check your poll location using this link: http://pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us/
• MN residents can take time off from their jobs for the purpose of voting without penalties or reductions in their pay, personal leave, or vacation time. Visit the following website for the Minnesota Voter’s Bill of rights:http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=1603
• Not voting on a constitutional amendment is the same as voting NO. Constitutional amendments by law must be passed by a majority of all the voters who vote on Election Day.
• If you vote in only one race and decide to leave all others blank, your vote will still be counted.