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. "

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4 days ago  ·  

Conditions in North Minneapolis

Educational Disparities

Children in North Minneapolis experience stark educational disparities. Minnesota’s achievement gap ranks among the worst in the nation and the negative indicators that produce this gap are most pronounced on Minneapolis’s Northside.

  • Only 29% of entering kindergartners living in North Minneapolis are ready to learn.
  • Just 37% of African American youth graduate on time from Minneapolis Public Schools.
  • 16% of African American youth graduate ready for college and 13% of those who attend a public university graduate in 4 years.

Violent Crime

The Northside is a small geographic area, but accounts for the majority of the city’s crime. It is not uncommon for bullets to pierce the homes of NAZ staff and enrolled families, nor is it uncommon that young Northside children have been shot recently.

Family Factors

A variety of challenging family factors are experienced by the more than 5,500 children living in North Minneapolis—including physical and behavioral health, stability and safety of housing, and economic and financial well-being.

  • Seventy-three percent of NAZ families earn $19,000 or less per year.
  • Single-parent families represent 51% of Northside households.
  • Twenty-five percent of North Minneapolis students are homeless or highly mobile.

Because of these educational and economic disparities, NAZ works only with children and families living in North Minneapolis.