Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area

    The Boys and Girls Club of Bemidji is a youth development agency that serves underprivileged children between the ages of 6 and 18 in the community. The Club makes a substantial impact on the community as it serves approximately 600 members annually. Their mission is to enhance the lives of kids in the area, while providing them both safety and hope. The Boys and Girls Club of Bemidji will utilize the grant funds for books, games and the promotion of high quality financial literacy.

    The Cookie Cart

    Cookie Cart is a non-profit organization that provides low-income teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18 with training to work in a non-profit bakery. This program provides participants with both leadership and life skills they may never have the opportunity to receive. Prior to working in the bakery, the teenage participants must first attend financial literacy training classes, and the Foundation grant dollars will support the sessions.

    Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES)

    CLUES is a non-profit organization that provides skills and resources to Latinos in Minnesota. Their mission is to advance the capacity of these families and help them become prosperous and engaged in their communities. They want each and every person to have the opportunity to strive. The organization will use the grant to support bilingual financial education through their empowering

    Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest

    Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest is a non-profit organization that plans to use the grant to serve over 161,000 students between kindergarten and 12th grade by providing lessons on financial literacy through schools. The program would also use the money towards preparing students for college and their future careers. JAUM understands the importance of youth learning personal finance and success skills throughout their academic career.

    Minnesota BestPrep

    BestPrep is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to prepare students with business, career, and financial education through hands on experience rather than learning in a classroom. Their programming involves students in grades 4 through 12 and engages them in activities that educate them about the importance of their futures. BestPrep will utilize the grant dollars to support financial education outreach and the Minnesota Business Venture Week program.

    Prepare + Prosper

    Prepare + Prosper is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the financial capability of low-income residents in the Twin Cities. P+P has a specific program referred to as “Money Mentors,” which coaches participants to strive to be the best they can be financially. The program has shown to substantially increase the number of low-income residents who have opened saving accounts. Money Mentors gives hope to these individuals that they can strive financially in the future. The Affinity Plus Foundation grant dollars will support the outcomes of the Money Mentors program.

    Wellness in the Woods

    Wellness in the Woods is an organization that focuses on the mental health of everyone, especially those who are low-income and have disabilities. One aspect of health is financial well-being. This program educates participants on how to be financially responsible and give back to their communities via volunteering. The grant dollars received will support an educational conference focused on resiliency, including financial health.

    The Minnesota Council on Economic Education

    The Minnesota Council on Economic Education engages teachers, students and communities in gaining a greater understanding of today’s economy. Hosting events such as the Personal Finance Decathlon and the Personal Finance Summer Institute brings financial education to classrooms and individuals across the state. Funding from this year’s grant will support the Summer Institute where Minnesota high school students learn about preparing for higher education, paying for college, handling debt, and understanding credit from industry professionals. Priority acceptance is given to those who are first generation college-bound, are economically disadvantaged, or students of color.

    Cultivator Grant Recipients 2015


      Ethan Laubach, UnderConstruction

      An educator himself, Mr. Laubach runs a summer internship program called UnderConstruction giving students of color an opportunity to learn and gain experience in the trade industry. Throughout the program, Mr. Laubach integrates financial management skills such as understanding a paycheck and creating a budget. The Cultivator Grant dollars will support the availability of the UnderConstruction program in the Twin Cities area.

      Andrea Ohnstad, Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area

      In 2014, the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area served 579 members ages 6 to 18 years old. Of the families whose children attended, almost half are living below the poverty level. The Club offers the Money Matters program to teens throughout the year, teaching money management skills including: how to manage a checking account, creating a budget, and how to save and invest. The grant dollars will be used to grow the Money Matters program and offer it to more youth in the Bemidji area.

      Jason Peterson, NeighborWorks Home Partners

      Located in St. Paul, NeighborWorks Home Partners (NWHP) is a homeownership/housing development organization dedicated to helping low-moderate income families realize the dream of owning a home. During the process, community members and potential homeowners are taught vital financial information pertaining to owning a home, the mortgage process, borrowing, etc. to ensure a positive and lasting experience. NWHP has identified several opportunities for further education of area youth on the possibilities of home ownership, starting with basic financial education. The grant dollars awarded will go towards purchasing and implementing curriculum formatted for youth through an after-school program and led by AmeriCorp volunteers.

      Jolene Carlson, New Prague ALC

      The Alternative Learning Center in New Prague serves 9-12 grade students who are behind in credits due to with circumstantial or life challenges and choices. To assist these students in being successful beyond graduation, the New Prague ALC offers a Life Experience class where students engage in activities such as career and college searching, community service and personal finance. With the Cultivator grant dollars, Ms. Carlson and others at the ALC, will expand the Personal Finance curriculum as a substitute for Math classes at the high school level.

      Shawna Thompson, EMERGE

      Emerge Community Development (EMERGE) established the North Minneapolis Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) to bring together financial coaching and job/career guidance to area residents. Monthly financial education classes, taught in a 4-week series by FOC coaches, are a key component to the programming. Topics include Budgeting to Create Savings, Asset Building and Debt Reduction, and Building a Good Credit Report. The grant dollars awarded will support the creation of shorter, tailored day courses for participants, enabling more residents to be impacted.