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Step-Up Mentorship Graduates 30 Seniors

Spring brings endings and new beginnings.  For thirty students across the Northwest Suburban Integration School District (NWSISD) consortium, graduation happened May 9, 2019, thus ending their tenure in the Step-Up Mentorship Program.

The graduating Step-Up students were brought together one last time for lunch at NWSISD along with their mentors and district superintendents.  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.

Students said that this program …
“…put things into perspective. Made me feel like I had people to rely on.”
“…helped us grow up together, but in different school, like brothers.”
“…It gave me the motivation to keep going!”
“…shaped my character and the person I am now!”
“…opened my eyes that there are a lot of support systems in our community.”
“…helped me focus. Taught me discipline, respect.”
“…helped me be more motivated.”

The Step-Up Mentorship Program was created to support young men throughout their high school career.  The program begins with the week long Summer Summit held at University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis Campus.  Graduating senior, Terrence D. from Champlin Park High School recalled, “I had to bike 2 miles from home to pick up the bus every morning for that week of camp.  Summer Summit made me more of an open person, built my social skills.”  Terrence will be joining the Air Force after graduation.

The Summer Summit is intended 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.

This year again, the Cannon Family Scholarship was awarded to recognize an outstanding Step-Up Mentorship graduate.  An application and specific requirements are required to be considered for the $1,500 scholarship. Moise Madiumba from Coon Rapids High School in the Anoka-Hennepin school district was this year’s recipient. 

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 2019!