Staffed career labs to come to Minneapolis Public high schools

Achieve!Minneapolis works to install a career lab in each of Minneapolis public high schools, including contract alternative schools (not charters).

Achieve!Minneapolis works in tandem with basketball celebrity Kevin Garnett, who's funding computers, printers and other equipment with the help of corporate sponsor Best Buy.

Garnett has also developed a virtual career guidance center called 4XL. From there, students get help from mentors and shadow jobs.

Already one of the labs with the 4XL software that Garnett donated is set up at Washburn High School, 201 W. 49th St. - a charge led by Achieve!Minneapolis - although no staff person has been hired yet.

Catherine Jordan of Achieve!Minneapolis said she hopes to hire a career and college center coordinator for Washburn by the end of January. A coordinator has already been hired at South High School, 3131 19th Ave. S., even though Garnett's state-of-the-art lab hasn't been established there yet. The coordinator is working with older computers the school already had.

Washburn, Patrick Henry High School, 4320 Newton Ave. N. and Roosevelt High School, 4029 28th Ave. S. will be the next crop of schools to labs and/or get career and college coordinators. Edison High School, 700 22nd Ave. NE and Southwest High School, 3414 W. 47th St. will come next.

Jordan said that Achieve!Minneapolis is preparing a six-year plan for students. It'll ask high school students to answer these questions: Who am I? Where am I going? What do I need? How do I effectively work in the world?

She encouraged people to donate to the initiative that has a goal of $1 million this year. When $2.3 million is raised, all 11 schools will have functioning labs with staff.

For more information or to donate to the program, go online to Achieve!Minneapolis homepage, at www.achieveminneapolis.org.