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Who’ll Run the World? Preparing Youth to Be Active Citizens, Critical Thinkers and Resilient Adults

By YWCA Minneapolis
August 2, 2019
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Photo of a girl examining something inside a world

You might be wondering – how are kids these days? Cyberbullying, school shootings, a divisive political climate, an environmental crisis, the astronomical costs of college: the world at large and close to home looks very different than the one you might have grown up in. The challenges youth face today are considerable. Even more so for youth of color, from immigrant families and trans youth.

Our future depends on the success of our youth and their preparedness for becoming resilient adults.

One statistic to determine how youth are faring overall is the rate of high school graduation. Minneapolis has some of the highest high school graduation rates for white students in the nation. But for students of color? Not so much.

What Students Learn Outside the Classroom

YWCA Girls and Youth programs are grounded in the rich body of research that much of the educational opportunity gap emerges from what students are learning outside of the classroom, too. According to Afterschool Alliance, youth who participate in high-quality afterschool and summer programs do substantially better in school, equipping them for on-time graduation. Yet, many families can’t afford to send their child to summer camp or sign them up for school sports. We address that inequity by providing most programs for youth at zero cost to families.

Addressing Inequities with High-Quality Programs

Our programs use culturally responsive, research-based curriculum that supports youths’ voices, helps them make healthy, meaningful choices and provides them with successful role models who reflect their own identities. Moreover, the curriculum teaches students how to think critically, equips them with life skills and empowers them to lead and overcome adversity.

These programs give youth a sense of stability and connectedness to help them grow. And we see the impact of that every day: 98 percent of youth in our programs intend to graduate high school and 95 percent intend to go to college.

A Bright Future Ahead

By supporting YWCA Minneapolis, you’re helping youth become active, engaged community members who thrive and will lead us, steadily, into a bright future.

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Learn More about YWCA Girls & Youth Programs