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
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.
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.