Letter from SondraMy Beloved Friends,

Your commitment to the Northside and the work of NAZ is essential to addressing the challenges we face in our state and across the country. Because of you, Minnesota is leading the way as a replicable national model to address multigenerational poverty.

My heart is heavy as we come to the close of a summer when we ALL felt the weight of the tragic killing of Philando Castile and the crippling gun violence taking the lives of both the young and the old. All of this is happening in our community, even around our elementary and middle schools!

Yet in the face of it all, I continue to feel more hopeful than ever that the NAZ collaborative is doing the right work to ensure that our families and children will not continue to face the same traumas. Instead, they will be succeeding in life in and school while living in a safe and vibrant Northside!

For our children!

Sondra Samuels
President & CEO
Northside Achievement Zone

Featured Friend: A letter from Annie Gillette ClevelandFeatured Friend: A letter from Annie Gillette Cleveland

Since 2012, I have been a supporter and champion of NAZ. I feel so strongly that every kid in Minneapolis, no matter in which zip code he or she lives, should have the chance to get ahead. And education is the most obvious path. But without NAZ and its partner organizations, kids on the Northside have too many obstacles in their way—neighborhood violence, unemployment, and unstable housing, just to name a few. How can a kid survive—let alone thrive—in that kind of environment?

NAZ combines education with wraparound human services as the special formula to put these kids on the path to college. It uses shared data within an extensive, multi-partnered network to manage each kids’ progress. And it delivers results that are scalable.

Using both data and the human touch, NAZ makes sense to both my head and heart. For that reason my commitment of support is unwavering. Please join me and many others in giving Northside kids the chance to soar!

Annie Gillette Cleveland
NAZ Friend of the Future

NAZ at the Walker: Introducing the NAZ Allies monthly donor programNAZ at the Walker: Introducing the NAZ Allies monthly donor program

This past July, at a special rooftop event at the Walker Art Center called NAZ Yes! To Success on the Northside, NAZ and several close supporters unveiled NAZ Allies, an exciting new monthly donor program.

More than 200 people spent their evening hearing passionate stories from Northside leaders like Sondra Samuels, Devean George, and Abdul Wright, and committed partners like Annie Gillette Cleveland, Tim Manning, and Kate Mortenson. Each speaker shared his or her motivation for working to provide equal opportunities to all children, and how everyone must be part of this critical venture.

Other special guests included Larry McKenzie, North High School head basketball coach; and members of North High’s champion boys’ basketball team.

In addition, we are excited to announce that Kate and David Mortenson announced a $10,000 challenge to reach the first 100 NAZ Allies. We encourage all Friends of the Future to promote NAZ Allies in their companies, civic groups, and faith communities.

To find out more about NAZ Allies, contact Jason Clopton at jclopton@the-naz.org or 612.594.8294.

Ke’Von Finds College Success with the Support of NAZ!Ke’Von Finds College Success with the Support of NAZ!

NAZ scholar Ke’Von Mathis 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.

For two years, Ke’Von, Andrew, and Ke’Von’s family worked together to help the young man become—and remain—successful in school. Andrew tutored Ke’Von after school in math and science, and offered guidance on organizational tips and techniques. They also partnered with Ke’Von’s advisory teacher to stay on top of his grades by doing weekly check-ins, targeting missing assignments, and putting together plans to stay organized. As a result of Ke’Von’s hard work and partnership with staff at NAZ and North High, he consistently earned placement on the A and B honor rolls.

Ke’Von and Andrew worked together his junior and senior year to research colleges and complete applications. They partnered extensively with the counselor at North High, as well as the Career and College Center at AchieveMpls, another valued NAZ Anchor Partner, to develop a college and scholarship application plan that singled out specific schools Ke’Von was interested in. The targeted approach proved a success, as Ke’Von was accepted into several colleges. Ultimately, he chose to pursue his post-secondary education at Bethune-Cookman University, a distinguished historically black college and university, in Daytona Beach, Florida. Ke’Von began his college year this Fall.

And for his accomplishments, Ke’Von was recognized by NAZ with the Saunders Foundation Scholarship, a four-year financial award given to a NAZ scholar who has exemplified academic excellence, community engagement, and strong college readiness.

According to Andrew, “There is no doubt that Ke’Von was raised in a household that values education, hard work and persistence. Ke’Von will be missed by many at North, but we know he will experience many great successes at college and beyond!”

Empowering the Northside: NAZ and Twin Cities R!SE Team Up to Support Residents Desiring Real Change!Empowering the Northside: NAZ and Twin Cities R!SE Team Up to Support Residents Desiring Real Change!

In August, NAZ and Twin Cities R!SE (TCR) teamed up to offer Power in Me, an intensive, one-time empowerment class for Northsiders who want to create change in themselves and in their community. The free class was offered on three separate occasions, and gave community members the opportunity to:

  • Harness their power to be successful amidst change
  • Promote the strength of the Northside
  • Build a thriving community—starting from within

Each session was a huge success, and left participants wanting more. As a result, NAZ and TCR are discussing the possibility of hosting another series of Northside empowerment classes. Stay tuned for more details!

Addressing Trauma and Violence by Moving Forward in Solidarity: The NAZ Path to College WalkAddressing Trauma and Violence by Moving Forward in Solidarity: The NAZ Path to College Walk

On July 22, NAZ hosted a community walk to promote unity and shine a spotlight on the tremendous difference North Minneapolis families and children are making through their commitment to education! At the end of the walk, Northsiders and supporters heard inspiring words from Alysha Price, NAZ Family Engagement Director; Ayolanda Evans, NAZ K-8 Strategy Manager and community activist; Jon Lundberg, Community Engagement Program Manager at NAZ partner organization Urban Homeworks; and a cheer led by NAZ Family Achievement Coach Taejon Ward and NAZ scholar Mario. Thank you to all who walked in solidarity with North Minneapolis future college graduates!

Upcoming Events

NAZ One Future Luncheon
Thursday, October 13 from Noon-1 p.m.
Check-in begins 11 a.m.

The Depot
225 3rd Ave South

As a NAZ Friend of the Future, we would love for you to join us at our second annual One Future Luncheon fundraiser! NAZ president & CEO Sondra Samuels and civic leaders will deliver powerful messages about how NAZ and our partners are closing the achievement gap. NAZ parents and scholars will inspire through stories of leadership, proving that the culture of achievement is alive in North Minneapolis.

Register online or contact Jason Clopton at jclopton@the-naz.org or 612.594.8294 to reserve your spot!

NAZ in the News

Path to College Walk in north Minneapolis celebrates bright futures Path to College Walk in north Minneapolis celebrates bright futures
The Northside Achievement Zone held a Path to College walk, celebrating a bright future ahead for thousands of students.Read more
Friends of the Future Newsletter
2123 W. Broadway #100 | Minneapolis, MN 55411 | 612-521-4405 | the-naz.org