Saeed’s move to Minnesota in November 2016 was his third across two continents and more than 12,000 miles. His family was in search of a place to call home. Displaced from Somalia because of civil unrest and famine, they first moved to South Africa, then to Texas and finally Minnesota.
New to North Minneapolis and not knowing many people, he wanted something to do after school. “I came from places that didn’t have job opportunities, so I thought it would be impossible to get a job.” But when Saeed heard about Cookie Cart from his classmate, he knew it was where he wanted to be.
Connecting is critical to success! Connecting to peers, caring adults, your community and new communities. Connecting only happens from a strong foundation. Young people at Cookie Cart are working to build strong foundations with skills and assets so they can connect and succeed.
Your gift makes sure that teens like Saeed have a safe, nurturing place to go to connect and build community!
“I never even thought about being a Cart Captain, but the managers saw me as a leader and that’s when I started realizing that I needed to start speaking more with my coworkers.” Cookie Cart staff could see that Saeed had potential to be a strong leader. They knew with the right training, he could become a role model for the teens in the bakery. In March, they enrolled him in leadership training courses where he found his personal leadership style.
The hard work paid off – Saeed was promoted to Cart Captain in March 2017. At first, leading was a challenge. It was hard to direct his friends and peers on work projects, but he soon found his voice and is now a true leader.
Knowing that young people are succeeding at Cookie Cart in Minneapolis, we are working with Saint Paul’s East Side neighborhood to convert a vacant building into a vibrant youth-centered space for teens.
All this happens because of community members like you who have committed to giving bright teens with high potential living in the Twin Cities’ lowest-income neighborhoods the opportunity to achieve their dreams.
Your donation supports hundreds of teens like Saeed as they connect to new communities. Now more than ever, we need to create positive and sustainable communities. With your support, we will hire 200 teenagers like Saeed and provide them with their first paid job experience, that will set them up for success in career and education, by giving them the critical leadership, interpersonal, and work skills they need.
Please consider making a tax-deductible gift before December 31. We are deeply grateful for your support.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season,
The Cookie Cart Staff, Youth Employees, and Board of Directors.