Soon-to-be first-gen college students get a glimpse of campus life

FANS students visiting Macalester College

It’s important to prepare young people for the future. Each year, we take our FANS (‘Furthering Achievement through a Network of Support’) high school students on college tours so they can become exposed to different kinds of campuses and classrooms, living situations, academic tracts, supportive resources, and more. Choosing a college and major are big decisions, made even more difficult if you’re not quite sure of all the options available to you. This year, youth from our FANS programs toured three college campuses in St. Paul led by former youth program participants. It was an energizing day, to say the least!

Highlights included:

✔ Seeing the medical, manufacturing & tech training spaces at St. Paul College

✔ Viewing a dorm and “Idea Lab” at Macalester College as well as learning about mental health resources

✔ Learning about “campus culture” and how to start on-campus clubs at Hamline University

FANS is a free college, career, and life preparatory program for high school students. Students benefit from a support system and activities to strengthen high school performance and to achieve success after graduation in college and beyond. Students that complete the program are eligible to receive a small scholarship to assist with college expenses and an advocate who will support them through college graduation. Since its inception in 1988, FANS Scholars have received over $1,000,000 in scholarships.

Waite House Harvest Dinner connects and celebrates

Thanksgiving celebration at Waite House

Waite House Community Center in the Phillips Community of South Minneapolis is one of the most diverse communities in the state and arguably, the country. Our annual Harvest Dinners are a way to celebrate all the various cultures that are alive in that community, as well as a vibrant opportunity to just simply bring people together. It all begins with connection. By connecting, we can begin to change the things that we want to be changed.

This year on November 15th, we saw about 400 community members, partners, neighbors, and friends attend our event. Guests enjoyed performances by Ecuadorian dance group Away Runakuna, the Michael Norcross Drum Group, and Chinelos San Pablo Apóstol de Axochiapan, Morelos (Mexico). We also hosted kids activities, a pretty popular photo booth, backpack giveaway, and a delectable menu from our in-house Executive Chef Jose featuring buffalo and vegetable tamales, llapingachos (potato cakes), veggies from the Waite House and Mashkiikii Gigitan gardens as well as fall squash desserts. Overall, it was an evening of great food, amazing performers, fun activities, and most importantly—community.

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