Expanding Educational Horizonso Youth Development Center the hub of youth work performed in our community. Under the direction of Frank Downwind, we have seen an increase in our attendance numbers, decrease in school tardiness, and an expansion of programs and community partnershipso Education is the key to providing a successful future and within Little Earth, there are various programs and resources to provide education enrichment to youth from preschool to college. We offer homework help and reward youth that have completed homework and receive good grades with computer time, field trips and other enriching opportunitieso Education is a crucial aspect in deterring crime and is a gang prevention component as well, because educated people have a greater capacity to engage critical thinking and problem solving skills. When faced with adverse conditions, an educated person is better equipped to draw from these skills and experiences to make healthier decisions. When dealing with a financial crisis, an educated person is more likely to explore legitimate avenues of attaining incomeo When confronted by an adversary an educated person is much more likely to use interpersonal skills to resolve issues rather than becoming physical. In this way, promoting academic success is promoting a healthy community. We work hard every day to teach our youth the importance of family, culture and education through each of our activities and programs with the goal of inspiring a child to reach higher and to better themselves as well as their families
College Success and Employment Navigator Programo Targeting residents who have or are about to receive their high school diploma or GED. Residents are encouraged to see what post-secondary opportunities are available to them whether it be the armed services, vocational and technical school or pursuing their associates/bachelor’s degrees.o The College Navigator assists potential students in choosing the right school, applying for entrance, applying for financial aid and whatever scholarships and grants are available to the student based on establishment and each student profile.o The program also provides transportation to tours, testing, open houses and college fairs. In the near future Little Earth Residents Association intends on having a College Fair where several of the surrounding schools and armed forces representatives will be tabling to recruit residents.o This program also has a job placement option. Local jobs, typically specific to the native community, are kept in a data-base in the College Navigator’s office for residents seeking a job to reference. The residents that choose to apply to a job are assisted in putting together a resume and cover letter. It is obvious that this program provides a productive outlet for our adult/young adult residents and will further assist in the crime prevention in our community.
The Wiconí Wasté Mentoring Program and College PREPo Program Works one-on-one to coordinate resources from Little Earth and our students’ school and community.o The Wiconí Wasté program’s purpose is to build positive relationships, trust, and assist Little Earth High School students’ educational progress and success in high school.o This is done by monitoring school attendance, providing assistance in overcoming obstacles that arise and combine that with creating a sense of purpose, connectedness to others and income through Life skills classes and an optional summer internship placement program.o All these elements are braided together to support, create and encourage our students and community to successfully complete high school and engage in the possibility of a higher education.o Allicia Waukau, Wiconí Wasté’s Program Coordinator is also involved in the Phillips Indian Educators Coalition, Native American Mentoring Initiative in Minneapolis and has partnered with a variety of organizations and agencies within the Phillips Neighborhood to facilitate youth programming at Little Earth, such as Division of Indian Work, Waite House, Hope Community, The Family Partnership and Main Street Media
Dakota and Ojibwe Language Immersion ProgramThe Little Earth Dakota and OjibweLanguage Immersion Program aims to: o Create fluent speakers in either native language o Create individuals who are knowledgeable of traditions, culture and healthy ways o Reinforce a sense of pride in being native people who will play an integral role in future generations retaining our culture and heritage through the retention of language
Expanding Physical Horizonso TRAIL is a diabetes prevention program through the Boys and Girls Club, educating youth about healthy lifestyle choices and physical activities.o The President’s Challenge helps people of all ages, and abilities, increase their physical activity and improve their fitness, giving youth the opportunity to express their stress and frustration through simple work outs.o Little Earth Lacrosse Program (in partnership with the Minnesota Swarm) aims to inspire our youth to have fun playing lacrosse, so they can share their experience and what the game of lacrosse means to native people and why it is so important to bring this game and it’s cultural, spiritual and camaraderie aspects back to our communityo Some of the upcoming opportunities include: Boxing, Basketball, Cross Country, Archery, Baseball, Softball and Football
Expanding Community Horizons Mentorship Programo We recognize that Mentors play an important role in youth development and have an established program that matches positive/healthy adult role- models with our youth in the Little Earth Youth Development Centero Mentors must make a minimum one year commitment to their mentee and check-in weekly so as to provide a stable adult role-model in our children’s liveso Mentors also have the opportunity to take their mentee on unique field trips
Expanding Community Horizonso Arts and Crafts provides the opportunity to be creative, to share and express emotions and ideas, with or without words. Discovering that there is more than one right answer, there are multiple points of view. The arts build confidence; every child can feel pride in his or her artistic creations.o The High-Yield Learning Program builds skills and behaviors needed for school success, providing opportunities to practice reading, writing, verbal communication, problem solving and decision making
Expanding Community Horizonso Juvenile Detention Alternative initiative (JDAI): Little Earth Youth Services is an approved provider for JDAI. We provide juveniles across all of south Minneapolis with assistance in completing orders of the court as well as support with their initial and subsequent court proceedings. Juveniles are linked to positive resources in their respective communities during this process.o Community Court: we currently host a Community Court at the Little Earth Residents Association office. This collaboration was brought together with assistance from a Hennepin County Judge, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Minneapolis Police Department, City Attorney’s Office, Adult and Juvenile Probation, Little Earth Residents and Staff members. Our goal with this program is to take adults that have been placed on Little Earth trespass a chance to earn access back into the Little Earth Community through self improvement and restorative practices. This is also the mechanism for monitoring individuals who may pose a safety risk to our communities.
Little Earth Youth Staff•Frank Downwind-Youth Services Director•Allicia Waukau-Program Coordinator•Joseph Spears-Boys and Girls Club Lead•Victoria Johnson-Program Coordinator•Ryan Broden-Academic Enrichment Coordinator•Nicole Koenig-Roy-Academic EnrichmentCoordinator•Andrea Cornelius-Academic EnrichmentCoordinator•Raphael Peralez-Mentorship Coordinator•Wahbon Spears-College Navigator