Students said about this program …
“…stay focused. It’s our time. We’ve come a long way.”
“…don’t let anyone or anything stop you.”
“…I will miss all of you. Stay in touch.”
“…glad to build these friendships so stay in contact.”
“…I grew as a person, a leader, a brother.”
“…the past 5 years has been a really big thing in my life.”
This year again, the Cannon Family awarded their Possibility Scholarship to recognize an outstanding Step-Up Mentorship graduate. An application and specific requirements are required to be considered for the $2,000 scholarship. Alexis Daniel Roja from Rogers High School in the ISD728 Elk River|Otsego|Rogers|Zimmerman school district was this year’s recipient. Rojas will be attending Augsburg University in the fall. (Rojas is pictured above with Gale Cannon and Alphonse Wiggins).
The Step-Up Mentorship Program was created to support young men throughout their high school career. The program begins with the weeklong Summer Summit held at University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis Campus with an intent to prepare students for the increased rigor they will encounter in high school. Participants are identified by their school district as potentially benefiting from additional academic and social support and guidance. Students who participate in the Summer Summit receive additional guidance and are involved in mentorship activities throughout their high school careers.
And for new beginnings? After high school graduation, almost all the young men plan to continue their education at a post-secondary school of choice and/or military. Congratulations Class of 2022!
Spring brings endings and new beginnings. For 66 students across the Northwest Suburban Integration School District (NWSISD) consortium, graduation happened May 26, 2022 thus ending their tenure in the Step-Up Mentorship Program.
The graduating Step-Up students were brought together one last time for lunch at North Hennepin Community College along with their mentors. The program included a video from across the years, testimonials, and comments from Step-Up team leaders, student statements, and a recognition of graduates. The prevailing theme among the students was how the Step-Up program became a family – a brotherhood – which in turn impacted their lives.