RISE for Youth kicks off summer intensive program

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 7:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) –RISE for Youth kicked off its four week program Monday morning. RISE for Youth is a collaboration effort between Mayo Clinic and the Rochester NAACP branch.

The program aims to help Black and underrepresented student succeed in education and employment.

Faizaa Omar is a 21-year-old fourth year student at the University of Minnesota-Rochester. She’s the first person to go to college in her family - and hopes RISE for Youth can guide and prepare her for medical school. Right now, she hopes to become a physician’s assistant.

Omar feels that it’s a needed program.

“I feel like Rochester need a better, not better, but more emphasis on diversity and inclusion,” she said. “Just so students like me, and others, know we can achieve high positions and get some guidance. Level the playing field I guess.”

Omar adds she felt inspired by Lt. Gov. Flannagan’s words Monday.

During the four week program, 40 students will be teamed up with a mentor to learn about public speaking, entrepreneurship and leadership development.

Rochester NAACP Branch President, Wale Elegbede, said this program is just the beginning.

“Even though this is focused on education and employment outcomes that is just a small segment of when we are thinking of systemic disparities. So yes, right we are focusing on education and employment but there are so many other areas where we need help.”

Elegbede listed housing and law enforcement responses as other areas needing help with disparities.

Minnesota is the second worst state when it comes to disparity rates in education. Elegbede said the numbers, “speak for themself.”

Copyright 2022 KTTC. All rights reserved.