Last week, every senior at North Community High School found out that, when they graduate this year, they will receive up to $10,000 in scholarship money for post-secondary education.
“This news made all of us feel very seen, very loved, very respected,” said North High principal, Mauri Friestleben.
Pillsbury United Communities announced the $1 million in funding, which will pay for scholarships for the nearly 100 graduating seniors at North High School. Students will be able to use the money for college or career training and Pillsbury United will send the funds directly to the educational institution of students’ choice.
“The students in North Minneapolis — especially at North High — have been going through a lot of acute issues,” said Pillsbury United CEO and president Adair Mosley. “Certainly the strike impacted them all, the pandemic impacted them all, the two years of conversations about race and social justice. But then there was this compounding of intercommunity violence, losing a classmate and the trauma of that. We wanted to do something that sent a shockwave of hope through this community.”
In addition to the scholarships, Pillsbury United is also making sure students will have access to college and career counselors throughout the summer so students can have support as they’re making plans for their next steps. For those students who need more time to decide, they’ll have up to a year to determine their next steps.
“We believe direct investments in young people are powerful,” Mosley said. “We need to be thinking of solutions at the scale of the challenge. And, frankly, if we are to disrupt the disparities, especially in places like Black wealth and education, then those need to be really big solutions…. In my mind this was a small gesture. In my mind, I think we can do more to meet this moment. I want our ambitions to move to action.”
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