Urban Roots is a community-based organization located in Saint Paul, MN with the mission to build vibrant and healthy communities through youth development. Our vision is that youth will learn, contribute, navigate, and thrive by leading and innovating around conservation, food, wellness, and entrepreneurship while engaging and connecting with their community.
Impact and Programs
The results related to our original objectives for 2015 are as follows:
Goal 1: Youth and community members are engaged in experiential learning; and youth are aware of careers in the field. Outcome 1: Youth and community members engage together and youth show developed knowledge and skills in the field and about possible careers. Result: 81% of the Youth could proficiently identify three careers in their field. In addition, 91% demonstrated proficiency in knowledge about their activities. Goal 2: Youth demonstrate 21st century employment skills. Outcome 2. Youth develop workplace skills as attitude, planning and problem-solving and interpersonal skills around social awareness, verbal communication and collaboration. Result: 97% of youth demonstrated improved skills in these indicators. Goal 3. Youth experience positive relationships and a sense of belonging. Outcome 3. Youth develop positive, sustained relationships with caring adults and peers. Result: 96% of Youth developed trusted relationships with adults at Urban Roots and 100% felt a sense of belonging. Goal 4. Youth are determined, persistent and have future aspirations Outcome 4: Youth have future aspirations including post secondary education expectations. Result: 100% of senior youth in our program graduated last year. And 100% of the youth can identify possible career and/or educational pathways. 15 youth participated in college or university visits last year and 4 youth participated in the Youth Summit conference.
The program goals are to provide opportunities for youth to build leadership, business/entrepreneurial skills, self-esteem, self-confidence and develop professional workplace skills.
1) Youth will learn/develop knowledge about occupations in nutrition, conservation, sustainable agriculture, and entrepreneurship. Indicator: 80% of youth will be able to identify at least 3 relevant career opportunities.
We work with many partners to expose youth to the various sectors of employment such as local and state agencies (St Paul Public Schools, the Capitol Region Watershed District, the MN DNR, local colleges/universities, nonprofits, and businesses). We coordinate with professionals who work site provide tours or make presentations to the youth, and we seek out associated careers. This builds connections to caring, supportive community members.
2) Youth Thrive and have future aspirations including post-secondary educational expectations. Indicators will be:
80% of youth will be able to express they are hopeful about their future;
80% of youth will be able to identify educational/career plans
33% of youth will make a college visit
We instill a positive atmosphere in our organization culture through language and respect. We recruit university student interns, primarily from St. Paul-based colleges and universities, who are role models the youth and can share their experience in transitioning from high school to college. At least 2 of the 10 ‘enrichment sessions’ we conduct each summer are focused on post-secondary opportunities as education/vocational college where they learn how to research further education, financial aid options, etc. We work with the youth to write resumes/cover letters and apply for jobs.
Community or Constituency Served
Low income youth ages 14-18 located on the East Side of St. Paul who are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program.
Geographic Area Served
East Saint Paul