Letter from the President 2014
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
- Frederick Douglass
November 24, 2014
Greetings Friends and Colleagues.
With nearly two decades of accomplishment under its belt, MinneapolisNEXT is well-established as a small but determined force for change in the Twin Cities. On the street level, we are continuing our long-running partnership with a dance school in North Minneapolis, and have branched out with support for a neighborhood group working to rejuvenate Phelps Park in South Minneapolis. But we are most proud of our flagship scholarship program, which this school year alone is providing support for 60 outstanding high school students. We’ve helped more than 200 kids to date.
As a donor, it’s important now more than ever to look carefully at where your charitable contributions go, and how they’re being used. An organization’s transparency, leadership, and overhead costs are key factors to examine, and we’re proud of MinneapolisNEXT’s track record in this regard. Our continuing commitment is that all overhead costs are paid by the Board of Directors, so every dollar we receive from contributors goes directly to kids in need. Still, results are what matters most, and our work continues to make a splash, sending positive ripples through our community as we help tomorrow’s leaders exit poverty through education and effort.
A child’s journey out of poverty is by no means easy, and the challenges are daunting. Learning in a respectful environment with positive social interactions is a key to success, but far too many children are growing up in less than ideal circumstances, in communities where “respect” means fear, and pretend “toughness” is required to avoid being victimized. When stuck in schools filled with peers in similar circumstances, their performance can suffer. But don’t be fooled. They are still children, forced to do what it takes to survive. When these same kids are immersed in a culture that fosters learning and high expectations, outcomes, lives, futures, and communities can change.
The kids we reach out to, and who reach out to us, have already demonstrated the determination to succeed, despite a rough start or hard times. We reward their strength, initiative, and resilience by providing the support needed to help them reach their full potential and reject the culture of fear. We’ve seen how profound the results can be, and we’re proud to play our part.
As always, we are humbled by your support of our mission. Rest assured that whatever financial contribution you can make, in whatever amount, will be put to good use. Together, we are providing the tools that make positive outcomes a reality, one child at a time.
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season,