As the nonprofit partner of the Minneapolis Public Schools, AchieveMpls mobilizes a wide web of community support and resources to ensure academic achievement, equitable opportunities, and career and college readiness for all students. We have placed more than 4,500 young people in paid summer jobs, helped raise the college-going rate for MPS graduates from 48% to 63%, and engaged over 1,000 businesses and nonprofits to support public education in our city.
AchieveMpls was founded in 2002 with the merger of Youth Trust and the MPS Foundation. Since that time, one of our key missions has been to raise money and mobilize public support for the Minneapolis Public Schools. We've helped raise millions of dollars in corporate and foundation grants to support MPS initiatives, and we administer over 220 college scholarships and 100 school and department funds. Last year, our leadership team facilitated meetings between corporate executives and MPS leaders that led to an unprecedented $13 million collaborative donation for strategic priorities of the district, including early literacy, college readiness, leadership and human capital development, and STEM education.
In 2004, the Chamber of Commerce, City of Minneapolis, and AchieveMpls partnered to create the STEP-UP Achieve Summer Jobs Program. We've offered work-readiness training to more than 4,500 students and placed them in summer jobs from some of the region's top employers, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and nonprofit healthcare providers.
In 2005, retired Pillsbury and Medtronic CEO Win Wallin convened local leaders to create the Career and College Centers. Today, AchieveMpls runs centers in every MPS high school. CCC coordinators offer individual guidance on college searches, financial aid, and career opportunities. They also host workshops and organize job fairs and college visits.
In 2010, AchieveMpls' new leadership made community engagement a core strategic focus. In the past year, we have created seven new projects focused on two complementary models. Some - like our MPS Alumni Network - are designed to bring diverse people together and engage them with education issues; others channel that engagement into direct support for MPS educators, students, and parents. Community members can now work directly with students and parents through short-term volunteer programs like Real Life 101 and long-term mentoring opportunities like Graduation Coaches.
In the last eight years, our STEP-UP Achieve Summer Jobs Program has placed more than 4,500 low-income students in paid summer jobs with some of the region's leading employers, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and nonprofit healthcare providers. Hashim Yonis participated in STEP-UP, Achieve's first internship class in 2004, only a few years after emigrating from an East African refugee camp. Today, he directs operations for an MPS high school. Last year, he and Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak traveled to Washington, D.C., where Hashim had the opportunity to directly address President Barack Obama, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan at a White House conference on youth employment. "Programs like STEP-UP," Yonis told the president, "are something that individuals who have no access to education, who have no access to employment, who have no access to the corporate world need." Hashim is now one of four nationwide advisors to the White House on youth employment issues.