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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy

Mission: The mission of CrossingBarriers is to develop the leadership skills of students, youth of color and immigrant students and community members to improve education, address community based issues and be agents for change.

Results: Each year as a small grassroots non-profit CB has great impact in education organizing, training young people to be community organizers and become advocates in their schools and neighborhoods. Each year through our workshops and presentations, CB reaches out to over 457 youth, parents, community members, teachers and administrators. Each year CB trains high school students from two to tree sites in community organizing and leadership development to improve the status of education and services in schools they struggle to succeed daily. Past projects include Immigrant Education Rights Project, St. Paul Education Project, Eden Prairie Education Project, Coalition to Close the Achievement Gap in Eden Prairie and organizing immigrant parents in charter schools to be advocates for their children that were facing low quality of education. High school students as Project Leaders designed youth training workshops to empower students as community leaders in their neighborhood schools, community and become comfortable organizing to improve quality of education in their schools. The impact created in the last seven years is building youth voice and parents that were marginalized in public schools and neighborhoods. CB continues to build that voice and trains young people to address failing schools and community issues that impact their peers. CB had great impact through building the voice of the marginalized in the school system through advocacy, legal action and organizing. The main purpose now is to train young people not to be afraid to advocate, organize in schools and services that are failing them.

Target demographics: young people from low-income communities struggling in the school system to learn to organize and increase their leadership skills to advocate in their schools and neighborhood.

Direct beneficiaries per year: We trained 52 high school students over the age of 16 and 35 immigrant parents on advocacy skills to address barriers in thier schools.

Geographic areas served: Minneapolis, St. Paul and metro area

Programs: Youth Leadership and Community Organizing Training for high schools students in Phillips Community Center

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Crossing Barriers on the issue of the achievement gap in our community. CB works very collaboratively to identify and then begin to address the obstacles for students. They are also very persistent in achieving their goal. If resistance is found in implementing the plan, they are able to seek difference solutions always with the goal in mind.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I worked with CrossingBarriers for my senior honors thesis at St. Catherine University which focused on organizations that promote social change in immigrant communities. CrossingBarriers is well-organized by passionate staff and board members. The staff act as positive mentors by providing students with the tools necessary to develop life-long leadership skills to address social issues in their communities. By encouraging students to actively participate in the community by talking at school board meetings, with police officers, parents, and other community members, CrossingBarriers works to build a community coalition capable of creating systemic change. I strongly support and respect the work of CrossingBarriers and hope the organization will continue to grow and empower even more young leaders in marginalized communities to become agents of change.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for Crossing Barriers teaching a class to high school aged kids about leadership and community involvement at a community center/park. Crossing Barriers gave me an opportunity to get involved in my community that I otherwise would not have had. I learned a lot about how to effectively work with youth and the problems that youth encounter in their day-to-day lives during my time teaching the class.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been too many programs but Crossing Barriers had the most impact on me. It really made me feel a leader and see things in many different ways. I have gained so much knowledge through this program such as speaking in public, speaking out my voice, most importantly outreaching students in need. We engage students face to face; our goal is to make difference in our community, schools and much more. I am very happy that I was involved. The Wonderful thing about this program is that they train you to become a leader, and the make you do the work with the students. The mission of CB is to develop the leadership skills of youth and community member to improve education. So lets all please support and encourage them by given what you got, money, skills and knowledge.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Crossing Barriers is an organization that is not afraid to challenge the status quo. It is an organization able to develop the facts necessary to demonstrate injustice. They get it.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

CrossingBarriers asked me to analyze and summarize data from Eden Prairie High School and the Eden Prairie School District in 2008. They were involved in advocating for students and parents who complained of discrimination by the school.

CrossingBarriers approach was to seek a meeting with school administrators to communicate students' and parents' experiences and attempt to work with the school district to develop effective strategies for ending discrimination and closing the achievement gap.

My analyses used official school district data to demonstrate that the students and parents' complaints were part of systemic problems that needed to be addressed. CrossingBarriers seemed to be an organization that worked collaboratively with school districts willing to address such systemic discrimination, and challenged the unwilling districts in every way possible.

I was very impressed with the leadership of the organization and the role it played in engaging the community to close achievement gaps in education.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am Student Leader At CrossingBarriers (CB). The reason I am involve with CB for 3 years is because i have never been a program like CB where they train the students to be the leaders in their community and work on any issues you want and actually see some result. I am usually use to sitting in a program while the elders preach the whole time. At CB I got to work on Bullying project that most Students in St. Paul school are facing today and they gave me a chance to lead the Youth Leadership Workshop. CB is one of great small Program that makes differences in youth life.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i am a huge fan of Crossing Barriers. They have been very active in Eden Prairie schools advocating for low-income students and families. I have worked closely with the Executive Director Ladan and Board Member Rukia to develop an after-school tutoring program to help all kids who are struggling in school. This program has the potential to make a significant difference in my district as well as other districts in the region. Some have said the achievement gap is the greatest injustice that is facing our country. Thankfully, Crossing Barriers is in the trenches doing the hands on work to close the achievement gap as well as working to make changes at the policy level. Great people doing excellent work on a significant challenge facing our Country. I strongly encourage you to support Crossing Barriers.