Posts Tagged Minnesota Urban Debate League
At SVP MN we are a group of 76 extraordinary people who have come together to help solve our most vexing social problems. Now imagine what could happen if you multiply that. What you may not realize is that we already have. Currently SVP exists in 30 cities in North America, Japan, India and soon China, with over 2,600 partners working collaboratively to solve social problems. We’ve impacted over 550 investees network wide, given over $46.25 million, and invested countless thousands of strategic volunteer hours since 1997. Each affiliate shares best practices, connections and now a unified brand to amplify our impact. Want proof of the impact? Hear it straight from Lance Fors, Board Chair of the SVP Network.
The Global Network and SVP MN Investees
With a network of 2,000 plus partners all applying their skills and connections to solve similar social issues, ideas are shared, built upon and applied in our work with investees. Here are a couple stories of this in action.
It’s 2002 in Houston Texas and a man named Rafael Alvarez has an innovative idea: provide professional IT training to economically challenged high school students who lack the connections and skills to compete in the job market, and place them in high quality corporate internships. With the help of SVP in Texas he was able to create Genesys Works, an organization that does just that. Once the program was established and had proven success, Rafael and SVP looked to expand the program into other cities. Because of the SVP connection, Rafael brought his idea to Minnesota. Our partners decided to support the launch of the program here and the rest is history. An SVP Partner, Jeff Tollefson became the Genesys Twin Cities Executive Director and the program grew from just 11 students in 2008 to 250 students expected in their upcoming class. Learn more about Genesys Works
Urban Debate League
While Minnesota Urban Debate League is our newest investee here in Minnesota, SVP has worked with the Urban Debate League in Boston for years. With SVP’s help Boston Urban Debate League grew their budget to over $1 million. Last Fall SVPMN Partner George Dow visited the Boston SVP and Urban Debate League to learn about their work, their best practices and learn how we can apply similar work here. Already in their first year as an investee Minnesota Urban Debate League is seeing some exciting growth. Read more in the “Investee Spotlight”
It was a cold February night, but that did not stop the group of students from various urban high schools from assembling in the Foss Hall Atrium at Augsburg College with their friends and families. It was their big night, the 4th Annual Minnesota Urban Debate League Banquet, where awards are given to outstanding seniors who have overcome challenges, stepped up as leaders, and are headed on a path to success. It was a night of celebration and they certainly had a lot to celebrate.
Among the students was Ayaan, the first African American women to be in the final round of the state tournament in over 100 years!
It has been an outstanding school year for Mn Urban Debate League, who just secured $100,000 of funding from St. Paul Public Schools over the next two years, and is currently working with SVP Partner and Chief Academic Officer of Minneapolis Public Schools, Emily Puetz, to secure funding from Minneapolis Public Schools as well.
- This year student participation in Mn Urban Debate League increased by 40%.
- 99% of the students who participated in the program are accepted to college.
- 100% of students who participated in Mn Urban Debate League are graduating from high school on time.
- This year eight teams went to state.
- Two students from Humboldt High School and two students from Highland Park High School are NAUDL National Tournament Qualifiers.
To learn more about the impact Mn Urban Debate is having on the lives of youth come to their showcase on March 20th. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet the youth, learn what the organization is working on and how you can get involved. And it will be fun, as we’ll get to watch a live middle school debate round! Event details and RSVP here.
By Amy Cram Helwich
Brittany is a proud North High School 2009 graduate and participant in the Minnesota Urban Debate League. In addition to being the captain of the debate team, Brittany was a leader in her school, including taking challenging AP classes. We all know kids who work hard and challenge themselves, but what made Brittany extraordinary was making these accomplishments while homeless her senior year.
Brittany is now enrolled in Minneapolis Community Technical College, working, and giving back to the next generation of debaters. Brittany is a coach for Como Park High School and has been a teacher at our summer debate institute as well as a teacher at the Women’s Debate Institute – a national camp that works to close the gender gap in debate. Brittany is a great leader and a remarkable mentor for all our students.
We are excited to announce the Spring 2012 new Investee, Minnesota Urban Debate League (MNUDL), which serves over 400 primarily low-income and students of color from 23 schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Students debate complex governmental policy issues at local, regional, and national competitions while gaining critical thinking and research skills, as well as self-confidence.
SVP MN will provide a general operating grant and consulting, training, and other assistance for organizational capacity building.
The Due Diligence Team selected Minnesota Urban Debate League for the following reasons:
* It is focuses on at-risk youth. Last year the program served students from schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul that were 75% low-income, 65% students of color, and approximately 50% girls and 50% boys.
* Their achievement of impressive outcomes for participating students:
– 100% on-time high school graduation for core members of the high school program
– 100% acceptance to college for core members of the high school program
* Evaluation by an independent researcher found that participants increased their reading comprehension by more than 3 grade levels after just 1 year in debate.
– Students who debated more than 1 year performed more than a full grade level higher than controls.
– The program has experienced impressive growth since their launch 2 years ago growing from 13 schools to 23 and 175 students to over 400.
* Staff and board leaders show a real interest in receiving capacity building support as well as funding. Urban Debate is seeking assistance with strategic planning and financial modeling for planning growth.
* Augsburg College provides Urban Debate with significant support:
– Thirty-six scholarships reserved for Urban Debate students.
– In-kind back-office administrative services and support from the college’s fundraising staff valued at $50,000 – $75,000 annually.
You can “Like” MNUDL on Facebook.