While school has wrapped up, local partners are looking ahead with a focus on practical solutions to help close the achievement gap and prepare the future workforce.

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and AchieveMpls, in partnership with the Cargill Foundation, have announced a major three-year investment of $4 million for MPS Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID); Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs; and AchieveMpls Career & College Centers in MPS high schools. The grant will provide critical support for student academic success and career and college readiness through 2020.

Cargill, a global agriculture, food and nutrition company, is the largest local corporate funder for MPS, providing more than $16 million in grants over the last decade. In its headquarters community, the Cargill Foundation invests in programs that help close the achievement gap, prepare students for the future workforce and ensure that children are well nourished so they can learn.

This new three-year investment will provide support for the following programs:

  • Girls in Engineering, Math and Science (GEMS) and Guys in Science and Engineering (GISE) programs. These single-gender after-school and summer programs for grades K-8 offer engaging STEM opportunities for students early in their educational experience.
  • Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID). This proven college readiness program for middle and high school students is being expanded to 4th- and 5th-graders to help prepare them for middle school and place them on a college readiness path.
  • AchieveMpls Career & College Centers. Located in nine MPS high schools (and expanding to two additional MPS schools in fall 2017), these Centers are campus hubs for career and post-secondary planning and offer personalized guidance to 9,000 students each year.

"We are deeply grateful to all those who stand beside Minneapolis Public Schools and make investments in our children's futures," said MPS Superintendent Ed Graff. "The Cargill Foundation's support will help our district better meet our students' needs while providing enriching educational experiences that prepare them for both school and life. When we come together as a community to serve our kids, we can help them reach their full potential and graduate ready for college and careers."

"As one of the district's strongest partners, Cargill is helping MPS achieve its strategic goals of academic excellence and career and college readiness for all students," said AchieveMpls President and CEO Danielle Grant. "AchieveMpls is honored to help facilitate this collaboration, and will use this generous support for our Career & College Centers to ensure that all MPS students have the guidance and resources they need to access high-demand, living-wage careers."  

"Cargill's support will help advance the district's efforts to increase equitable access to STEM programming and college and career readiness," said Michelle Grogg, Cargill Foundation Executive Director. "AchieveMpls and Minneapolis Public Schools are working hard to improve academic achievement for all students. Cargill knows that the success of every student shapes the future of our community."