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The mission of Youthprise is to champion learning beyond the classroom so that all Minnesota youth thrive. Youthprise works to build an effective and coordinated system that affords all young people access to high quality learning opportunities during their out-of-school hours. A central focus of Youthprise is addressing the “opportunity gap,” the unequal access to quality learning opportunities faced by marginalized youth — those who are low-income, homeless, GLBTQ, Native and youth of color, and young people with physical or developmental disabilities.

Youthprise’s areas of work include:

  • Building systems infrastructure — comprehensive data systems, quality standards and assessment tools, and coordinated efforts among public, private, and nonprofit partners;
  • Developing the organizational capacity of programs in the OST/youth development field and their capacity to participate in data collection and quality improvement efforts; and
  • Authentically engaging youth and their communities in designing, implementing, and evaluating programs and policies.

Youthprise was established in 2010 by The McKnight Foundation as an independent entity that would continue the foundation’s work in increasing the quality, accessibility, sustainability, and innovation of opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. In June 2011, Minnesota’s Statewide Afterschool Alliance, Youth Community Connections (YCC), merged with Youthprise, bringing with it a strong history of policy advocacy and expertise in out-of-school time systems building.