Shayne | NAZ parent, enrolling in empowerment classes allowed her to take a different approach to raising her adopted daughter

"I'm proud that I took the classes and what I used from them actually made life better for my daughter. Foundations helped me understand that I didn't know what was going on — and something was going on. I don't know if I would have seen that if I wouldn't have taken the class.

And I took Foundations a second time because I loved it. (The first time I understood it, but the second time I got it!) I learned to stop and ask "am I seeing the full picture or am I just relying on what I know from raising my other children?" I've never raised a kid that was adopted; their mindset is so different. You have a circle of love and you're standing in the middle, but of all the people that are giving you that love, no one is from your family. It taught me to help her understand that it doesn't matter who your parents are, that you have to develop who you are.

Andre taught me to look a little bit deeper and that it was ok that if I could not correct the problem on my own, that it was ok to get some help and how to find the right person to bring in.

It takes a village to raise a child.

What my daughter knows is that she's in love with everyone at NAZ, and she sees them almost every day. She's more positive and focused on her academics now. I think she cared more about trying to figure out this other part of her life than she did anything else; so now she's been able to let things go and understand that this is her world. She more herself and it did change her. "

#NorthFaceFriday
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4 days ago  ·  

Family Stories

A Parent Taking Leadership of her Child’s Education

Though her daughter Jhanae was diagnosed with a learning disability, NAZ parent Ethrophic Burnett made sure she remained unaware of it. “I wanted her to stay focused on her potential and the possibilities, not on her limitations and assumed future,” she says. Then, shortly before high school graduation, Jhanae discovered her learning disability and became convinced that she was broken.
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Antoinette Achieves Career Success with the Help of the NAZ Collaborative!

The year 2015 was especially difficult for NAZ parent Antoinette W. She was working a high-stress job that made her feel unappreciated, and going through a rough patch with her youngest daughter, Kiesha. It was right around this time that she began partnering with the NAZ Collaborative and her Family Achievement Coach Andre McNeal, who told her, “Just give it a year—let’s see what a difference a year makes.”
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Collaboration Builds Prosperity

When NAZ parent Jill W. lost her home in a fire in 2015, she worried how the loss would affect her four young children—particularly her eldest son, Willie, who had previously struggled with behavioral problems as a result of housing instability.
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Ke’Von Finds College Success with the Support of NAZ!

NAZ scholar Ke’Von spent his freshman year of high school transferring between two different schools before finally ending up at North High School, a NAZ Anchor School. When NAZ Academic Specialist Andrew Bloomquist met Ke’Von in 2014, the student was struggling in multiple subjects, and just barely above a passing grade.
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Moving from Expulsion to Academic Success

Third grader Nevin struggled with behavioral problems and was expelled from NAZ partner Ascension Catholic School as a result. In partnership with the school, NAZ staff met with Nevin’s mom, Tina, to brainstorm solutions. Over the course of a few meetings, “Team Nevin” strategized a multi-pronged approach to keep the child in school.
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Stability Leads to Success

James’ family was struggling financially and moving every few months. Without a stable home, James’ academic performance suffered, and he showed up at kindergarten not ready to learn. Then his mom Angela heard about NAZ.
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Young Children on a Path to Success

When Allegra came to NAZ, she knew that she wanted a better life for her family. Thanks to scholarships secured through NAZ, she was able to enroll her three youngest children in La Crèche, a four-star-rated early learning center.
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Making School Success a Top Priority

In 2014, single dad Keenan Thomas’ goal was to find stable housing—critical for ensuring his son could focus on school. The two moved into dignified housing with the help of NAZ, Urban Homeworks, and Project for Pride in Living. Keenan makes school a top priority for nine-year-old Keemonie, taking time to read together, calculate costs … Continue reading Making School Success a Top Priority
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The A+ Student

Fifth grader Dennis Foster, Jr. set out to improve his grades by working closely with a NAZ “academic coach,” participating in after-school learning programs at Sojourner Truth Academy, and receiving homework support from his mom. Dennis is now on the A and B Honor Roll.
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Jaylon is Back on Track

Jaylon Oglesby struggled in school during part of his eighth grade year, but was determined to get his academics back on track. He connected with 21st Century Academy’s after-school learning program, and scored A’s and B’s in all his classes during the final quarter.
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The Community Leader

In addition to being active in her kids’ academic lives, Devon Nolen is highly involved in rallying the North Minneapolis community around youth empowerment. She is an active member of several community groups, including MPS District Parent Advisory Council, Metro Food Access Network, and Council on Black Minnesotans.
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Coco Leads the Way

Since late 2012, Courtney (Coco) Morgan has consistently attended classes at four-star-rated early learning center—and NAZ partner organization—The Family Partnership. Her family was able to provide her with a high-quality early learning experience with the support of a Ready to Succeed scholarship. Coco is a classroom leader, and has all the skills needed for kindergarten … Continue reading Coco Leads the Way
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From Failing Classes to Competing for the Honor Roll

Through increased attendance, working closely with his teachers and NAZ “academic coach” at NAZ Anchor School North High School, and utilizing after-school learning time, tenth grader Dezmon Chandler has gone from failing several classes to competing for placement on the Honor Roll.
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Latisha Leaps Ahead

Latisha Lee is a graduate of the NAZ College Bound Babies program, which helped prepare her for kindergarten success. Now a second grader at Plymouth Christian Youth Center (PCYC)—a NAZ Anchor School—Latisha is reading at the fifth grade level and performing at 98 percent in math.
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Keeping Her Scholars On Track

When Lacresha and her children began partnering with NAZ three years ago, it was at the request of NAZ Anchor School Elizabeth Hall Elementary, where Lacresha’s son was struggling in school. His academic life was made more challenging because they lived in substandard housing on a block with high levels of crime. Today Lacresha’s son … Continue reading Keeping Her Scholars On Track
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New Beginnings

In the winter of 2013, Keenan T.—a single dad—rented a room from a woman who subsequently skipped out of town with the rent money. As a result, the heat was turned off. Keenan and his then-seven-year-old son were suddenly trapped in a rented room whose only source of heat came from the two space heaters … Continue reading New Beginnings
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The High Achiever

Fifth grader Willy N. is a bright student, but he struggled in school. He was removed from mainstream classes, and didn’t receive the academic support he needed. As a result, his confidence—and his grades—plummeted. Then, in the summer of 2014, Willy attended NAZ Anchor Partner Plymouth Christian Youth Center’s Out-of-School Time program, where he was treated … Continue reading The High Achiever
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Daunte Conquers Challenges

In 2013, Daunte N. and his family experienced high mobility. But despite the challenges involved with moving and switching schools, Daunte stayed focused on his academics and goals. Through Out-of-School Time summer programming at NAZ Anchor Partner Plymouth Christian Youth Center, Daunte gained one year of growth in reading over the summer. This third-grader is an … Continue reading Daunte Conquers Challenges
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Fostering a Culture of Achievement in Her Community

As a member of the NAZ Parent Advisory Board (PAB), Tamara Campbell devotes a lot of time to improving her community through education. She exhibits outstanding community leadership, and guides other families to make the same commitment she’s made to build a culture of achievement on the Northside. On the home front, Tamara is a … Continue reading Fostering a Culture of Achievement in Her Community
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Helping Her Scholars Succeed

As a single mom to six NAZ scholars, Estella N. is a busy parent. But she manages to keep her scholars focused on school, supporting them however she can. She takes them on regular trips to the library, and even set up a library for them in the home. Estella also helps them with their … Continue reading Helping Her Scholars Succeed
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NAZ Scholar Julissa is Ready for Kindergarten

When Julissa E. received a Race to the Top Scholarship in late 2012, her mom Hannah immediately enrolled her in preschool at NAZ partner The Family Partnership. In the beginning, Hannah says, Julissa had limited social skills. She was shy and couldn’t communicate her feelings to others. With support from her parents, NAZ Connector Jaton … Continue reading NAZ Scholar Julissa is Ready for Kindergarten
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Destiny Achieves Her Goal

High school freshman Destiny F. struggled with math while attending Harvest Prep, a NAZ Anchor School. But she didn’t accept the low scores as inevitable. Destiny knew that if she wanted to attend Cristo Rey Jesuit, the high school of her dreams, she would have to work hard to understand the material. So she set … Continue reading Destiny Achieves Her Goal
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NAZ Scholar Jokera Receives College Scholarship

Jokera W. was awarded a NAZ scholarship on July 31, 2014 to help her reach her goal of a four-year degree! Jokera is serious about her future. She recently graduated from Cooper High School where she attended North Hennepin Community College during her senior year. “I’m proud of you and everything that you’ve done. You … Continue reading NAZ Scholar Jokera Receives College Scholarship
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Team Jamal is Going to College!

Our first-ever NAZ college scholarship was awarded to NAZ scholar Jamal B. on July 30, 2014, thanks to the generosity of a local family foundation. Jamal is a recent graduate from Edison High School where he overcame obstacles to become an outstanding student, athlete, and leader. “Because of your hard work you’ve grown into a great … Continue reading Team Jamal is Going to College!
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From Nearly Dropping Out to Enrolling in College

Richard was an unmotivated student nearing the end of his senior year. Many of his friends had dropped out, and he was lagging behind. After his mother enrolled his family in NAZ, their Connector knew she had to step in to help him graduate and graduate on time. Richard is the oldest of nine children. … Continue reading From Nearly Dropping Out to Enrolling in College
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James Gets on the Right Track

James was a senior in high school and a graduate of North4, which is a joint NAZ/EMERGE program that offers NAZ-enrolled young men a path out of gangs. He’s the father of a toddler and lives with his mother. Due to his past gang involvement, James was very concerned about the safety of his family.
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Jaquan Gets a Team of Support

Eight-year-old Jaquan was placed in Level 4 special education and suspended from his NAZ after school program due to behavior. Jaquan’s NAZ Academic Navigator brought together “Team Jaquan” to problem solve. This team includes his mother, teachers and a school administrator, after-school program staff, the NAZ Behavioral Health Navigator, and his NAZ Connector.
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Star Jumps Forward

Star was a shy little girl with a severe speech delay. When her family enrolled in the NAZ, their Connector and Early Childhood Navigator worked with them to connect Star with a scholarship to a 4-star rated early childhood center, Family Partnership.
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Jamar’s Journey to Kindergarten

Squeezed for time between work and school, Taya and Courtney Morgan relied on relatives, part-time childcare, and evening work shifts to make sure someone was watching the children. But they realized their patchwork childcare was hurting their son.
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