MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 3, 2020 - Urban Ventures, a South Minneapolis-based nonprofit, today announced it has received a $100,000 donation from Young Living, a leading essential oils and wellness company. The goal of Urban Ventures is to send every child within the 25-block core area of downtown Minneapolis to college or some form of postsecondary education by 2040. The organization believes the single greatest mechanism for breaking the cycle of poverty is through education. This generous donation will provide resources to help Minneapolis youth reach high school graduation and beyond, including providing scholarships to college. Current statistics speak to the overwhelming need for aid: Roughly 51% of children in South Minneapolis grow up in poverty; nearly all children in Minneapolis receive free or reduced-cost lunches; and very few children receive enough physical activity daily. Only 16% of students of color graduating from local Minneapolis high schools attain a college degree and/or a fulfilling career. Urban Ventures takes a holistic approach to eliminating poverty in a community by partnering with over 70 local organizations to address gaps in academics, nutrition, physical activity, parenting resources, and more. "We've seen the results of inequity play out in real-time, in violence and anger and overwhelming injustice," said Dave Hawn, CEO of Urban Ventures. "Healing always starts with learning, which is why our focus is on providing vital learning to our community. This donation will put diplomas in hands, and those hands will then help lift others." Research shows that educational attainment is key to increasing lifetime income, and increasing earning potential is critical to empowering individuals to break free from the cycle of poverty. Donations like this will contribute to changing not only Minneapolis, but other communities as well. "We strongly believe that actions are needed more than words to address inequality, which is why we're honored to donate to Urban Ventures," said Jared Turner, president and COO of Young Living. "All people have the right to education, and we are in awe of the work Urban Ventures does in bringing the life-changing power of higher education to their community."
Urban Ventures works alongside 70 local partners—all with the overarching goal to prepare and send every youth in our neighborhood to college or postsecondary education. We do this by providing academic support, mentoring, food and nutrition services, athletic programming, and a College and Career Center that, in part, offers full-tuition, full-need leadership scholarships to over 50 students each year. We also offer adult classes aimed to empower parents to support their children. Urban Ventures will open an Early Learning Center for children ages 0 to 5 later this year, rounding out a full 'cradle-to-career' continuum of support.