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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Day in the Life: Feb. 17

It was cold this morning but over breakfast we were thinking about this summer....making sure there are summer jobs for kids from Minneapolis schools. David Brand of Achieve!Minneapolis and I spoke to the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce about StepUp, which last year created 200 summer jobs and this summer we hope to create 300.
Last year's program was a success in part because we got great help from business leaders, like Richard Davis, president of US Bank, and Keith Moyer of Star Tribune. This morning Ben Taylor of the Star Tribune told a very moving story about a girl who had been a Step Up intern at the paper. One of the employees took this intern under her wing, helped her improve her office skills and at the end of the summer the girl came into Ben's office and said, very simply: "You changed my life." Frank asked the group: "How many ways can you change someone's life for $2,400?"
That's what it costs for a Step Up intern. We train them, screen them and help get them ready for work. You create the job or pay $2,400 to place an intern at another job. Surely a community as blessed as this one can create 300 opporunties for kids this summer. If you are interested, you can contact www.achieveminneapolis.org.
(While you are at that website, you can also find out about Impact Schools, a new web site that makes it possible for you to contribute directly to Minneapolis Schools. )
Hope you can find a way to help us with Step Up. Just remember, the person who you give that chance is the person who is going to be paying your Social Security.


  • At February 20, 2005 at 7:29 AM, Blogger Fred Markus said…

    Your reanrks have jogged my memory about the Neighborhood Youth Program in the 1970s that brought clusters of high school students out at comparable rates of pay to do work along the banks of the Mississippi. From our vantage point on Nicollet Island, we could see how important it was to have inspiring supervision. When the crew supervisor was energetic and involved (as I clearly see you to be), really interesting things happened. Trails were cleared, some stairways built, trash collected but as an aspect of putting a better civic signature on these fairly remote areas.

    In the fullness of time, more substantial regional park facilities were established but I'll just bet there are adults now who remember climbing around on the slopes, having picnic lunches, and saying helllo to our Island donkeys Pearl and Sheba.

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