LEAP Partner Receives $1 Million to Expand Initiative in Minnesota

Posted October 4, 2022
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Waiting for class to start, a teenage boy smiles as he listens to his teen friend tell a story.

Project for Pride in Liv­ing (PPL), a part­ner of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Learn and Earn to Achieve Poten­tial (LEAP)™, has received funds total­ing $1 mil­lion from the city of St. Paul, Min­neso­ta, and Ram­sey Coun­ty, Min­neso­ta. These funds will sup­port LEAP pilot sites man­aged by PPL through­out Ram­sey Coun­ty, includ­ing the City of Saint Paul, at schools and com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions. The dol­lars are part of a $24.8 mil­lion Amer­i­can Res­cue Plan fund­ing pack­age for high-qual­i­ty job train­ing pro­grams and work­force ini­tia­tives in the state.

LEAP is a mul­ti-state ini­tia­tive that works with youth and young adults ages 1425 who have expe­ri­ences with the fos­ter care sys­tem, crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem or home­less­ness. The ini­tia­tive is ded­i­cat­ed to increas­ing edu­ca­tion and employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for young people.

Through LEAP, Project for Pride in Liv­ing assists young peo­ple via a net­work of com­mu­ni­ty-based part­ners, includ­ing local schools and youth-serv­ing orga­ni­za­tions. To date, the orga­ni­za­tion has:

  • helped 695 young peo­ple re-enroll in high school; 
  • pro­vid­ed sup­port and edu­ca­tion to young par­ents seek­ing a high school diplo­ma or GED; and
  • Worked with com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ers to suc­cess­ful­ly ensure that high school­ers who lost jobs dur­ing the pan­dem­ic were able to access fed­er­al unem­ploy­ment assis­tance under the CARES Act.

The new fund­ing includes $600,000 from the city of St. Paul and $400,000 from Ram­sey County.

Over the past sev­en years, Project for Pride in Liv­ing has pro­vid­ed essen­tial path­ways to high-qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion and employ­ment for young peo­ple through LEAP,” says Rani­ta Jain, a Casey Foun­da­tion senior asso­ciate who spe­cial­izes in employ­ment, edu­ca­tion and train­ing. Thanks to these funds, Project for Pride in Liv­ing can bet­ter sup­port more young peo­ple in the state of Min­neso­ta as they con­tin­ue their edu­ca­tion and work toward ful­fill­ing careers.”

This infu­sion marks a new phase in our sup­port of youth oppor­tu­ni­ty here in the Twin Cities,” says Emi­ly Ter­rell, Project for Pride in Living’s direc­tor of youth employ­ment strate­gies. We are thrilled to part­ner with the city of St. Paul and Ram­sey Coun­ty through this effort and to be able to offer the sup­port of LEAP and con­nec­tions to career path­ways to stu­dents as they grow to be healthy, wealthy and wise.”

Learn More About LEAP’s Youth-led Work Across the Country

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