CROSSINGBARRIERS

Rating: 4.88 stars   8 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights

Location: 450 North Syndicate Street, Suite 40 St. Paul MN 55104 USA

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

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

empowering youth. The class that i taught gave the youth information about how to work constructively in their communities, who represents them in their local government and gave them an opportunity to practice public speaking.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase its presence on college campuses to get more volunteers.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I used to be very shy when I spoke in public and I never had meetings with St.Paul School board and other board in our community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would love to bring in more issues and get as much students and community member involved. I would keep standing up for what is right just do my best to fix things.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Outreach more and more and bring in more and more students.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Yes I have learned so many things, such us speaking in public, standing up for others and my self. Started to be more involved in school organization and other things in the community that was going on.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I felt very wonderful the fact that I was involved to make bring changes in my community and within schools.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase their funding so they can do more.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

What is unique about this organization?

Serve an truly underrepresented clientele.

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Rating: 4 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The work with Eden Prairie School District (Minnesota) is an ongoing project. But I saw CrossingBarriers initiate and promote dialogue with the District administrators and school board. I also saw the organization connect with parents and community groups. CrossingBarriers took an issue that few were acknowledging and made it front page news.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would give it enough money to hire more people and help fund their various projects.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Trying to close the achievement gap in Eden Priory, train Students to be the leaders in their community and work on the issues they are facing and take some actions to get a result we are looking for.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make sure CrossingBarriers is a program that is located in every communities/ citied/states because it makes difference in youth life and it is really good program. But it is missing the support financially so once they get that i know it would happen.

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Crossing barriers between whites and blacks in our community so we can work together to close the achievement gap for all kids

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find them more money so they could increase their capacity so other districts could benefit from Crossing Barriers working in their community/

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful?