Stories

See how Sundance Family Foundation is transforming the lives of young adults in the Twin Cities through its grants and programs.

Bianca’s Earn & Learn Story

Bianca’s Earn & Learn Story

Bianca Dawkins is a Philanthropic Services Associate at the Minneapolis Foundation. In that role, Bianca helps with
Yasameen’s Earn & Learn Story

Yasameen’s Earn & Learn Story

Yasameen Sajady is the CEO of Maazah Chutney, a Minnesota-grown condiment brand that is opening Midwestern palates to new horizons. The Maazah brand was created by Yasameen, her two sisters, Sheilla and Nas, as well as their mother, Fatima. Yasameen received her Bachelors and a MBA from Augsburg University and joined Lunar Startups to build the skills she needed to be a successful entrepreneur.
Jazmine’s Earn & Learn Story

Jazmine’s Earn & Learn Story

Jazmine Darden’s career trajectory exemplifies the Earn and Learn model. Today, Jazmine is a teacher, an inventor, and an entrepreneur. She teaches 3D printing courses at Dunwoody, works with Minneapolis Public Schools' GISE and GEMS programs, and owns a handful of small businesses, most of which involve 3D printing. Raised in Brooklyn Park, Jazmine attended Augsburg University as a first-generation student where she utilized the TRIO and North Star STEM support networks which helped her navigate college as she excelled in her coursework.
More than Mechanical Work

More than Mechanical Work

Tried and True Youth Mechanics offers a professional development program focused on small engines for high school students in the Forest Lake area. See how three young men took part in the workforce readiness program outside of a traditional day at school and have thrived — earning scholarships, attending postsecondary school for additional training and developing their skills.
Alumni Spotlight: Daniel Yang

Alumni Spotlight: Daniel Yang

Daniel Yang joined Urban Roots in 2013 and stayed through his senior year of high school. Daniel emphasized how much Urban Roots changed his life, providing leadership experience and professional skills he may not have been exposed to elsewhere. While Daniel has grown immensely since leaving Urban Roots, his career and passions continue to stem from what Urban Roots instilled in him.
Ujamaa Place is Transforming Lives

Ujamaa Place is Transforming Lives

Ujamaa Place provides housing, education, job training and individual coaching to former justice-involved men in both Ramsey and Hennepin counties. Ujamaa Place helps these men gain career skills training at St. Paul College that provide pathways to sustainable wage jobs. See the stories of three men who've benefited from Ujamaa Place and their services.
Alumni Spotlight: Amanye Reynolds

Alumni Spotlight: Amanye Reynolds

Amanye has been a member of the Saint Paul Urban Tennis (SPUT) community since she was five years old. She competed at the Minnesota State Tournament as the first ever Harding High School girls tennis player, and has coached tennis, learning valuable leadership skills. She will be attending Macalester College and playing tennis beginning in 2020.
Alumni Spotlight: Jy’Mar Mitchell

Alumni Spotlight: Jy’Mar Mitchell

Jy’Mar Mitchell joined Green Garden Bakery’s workforce readiness training in 2016. Since then, Jy'Mar has graduated from high school, and joined Americorps with Minneapolis Public School’s Black Excellence program. After one year in the Americorps program, Jy'Mar received a paid internship with International Market Square as a building engineer intern.
Ramsey County Public Sector Leadership Academy

Ramsey County Public Sector Leadership Academy

The Ramsey County Public Sector Leadership Academy provides 16 young adult interns with paid experiential learning experiences to increase their exposure, connections, and ultimate placement in public serve employment. Interns receive additional comprehensive supports, credentials and education. Read the stories of two young women who've participated in the Ramsey County Public Sector Leadership Academy.
Cultivating Hope and Connection with Urban Roots

Cultivating Hope and Connection with Urban Roots

Patsy Noble, Executive Director of Urban Roots, shares how their organization is adapting to COVID-19 through virtual work shifts, encouraging youth to get outside and explore green spaces, as well as developing new programs including Market Garden, Cook Fresh and Conservation programs in 2020.
CLUES Latino Youth Exploration Center Initiative

CLUES Latino Youth Exploration Center Initiative

While all children are born with the “promise of success” a defined gap exists between children who are born with ready access to the social and economic tools essential to future success and children who are not. CLUES utilizes a strength-based approach grounded in the belief that all persons are born with promise and possess strengths and skills that make them uniquely prepared for success. See how the CLUES program has enabled young adults like Jesus and Tania to build confidence and excel.
Marcellius’ Story: Career Pathway Building Is More Than Paid Work Experience

Marcellius’ Story: Career Pathway Building Is More Than Paid Work Experience

Marcelilus is an Elpis trainee. His Elpis story, which includes obtaining his driver’s license and a car, shows the importance of accompanying a trainee on their aspirational and logistical journey. Elpis is more than a job to Marcelilus and other young adults with whom he works. Elpis provides moral support to each trainee as needed as they take the next step in their career plan. Marcellius’ resilience and ‘grit’ is what propels him, but having Elpis there each day of his journey has been an important part of his success story.