Cargill Foundation announces $4 million grant for MPS

The Cargill Foundation will donate $4 million to Minneapolis Public Schools and its nonprofit partner, AchieveMpls, over three years, AchieveMpls announced Wednesday.

The funds will go toward expanding a college-readiness program to help prepare fourth- and fifth-graders for middle school. They will also help funding college and career centers in 11 MPS high schools and after-school and summer science, technology, engineering and math programming.

“We are deeply grateful to all those who stand beside Minneapolis Public Schools and make investments in our children’s futures,” MPS Superintendent Ed Graff said in a release. “The Cargill Foundation’s support will help our district better meet our students’ needs while providing enriching educational experiences that prepare them for both school and life. When we come together as a community to serve our kids, we can help them reach their full potential and graduate ready for college and careers.”

Cargill is the largest local corporate funder for MPS, according to the release, and has provided the district more than $16 million in grants over the last decade. Its foundation invests in programs that aim to close the achievement gap, prepare students for the workforce and ensure children are well nourished.

“Cargill’s support will help advance the district’s efforts to increase equitable access to STEM programming and college and career readiness,” Michelle Grogg, Cargill Foundation executive director, said in the release. “AchieveMpls and Minneapolis Public Schools are working hard to improve academic achievement for all students. Cargill knows that the success of every student shapes the future of our community.”

AchieveMpls runs college- and career-readiness programs, hosts public education events, provides internships to youth, manages MPS funds and awards and more. The nonprofit runs college and career centers in nine MPS high schools and will be able to staff two additional centers because of the Cargill grant.

“As one of the district’s strongest partners, Cargill is helping MPS achieve its strategic goals of academic excellence and career and college readiness for all students,” AchieveMpls President and CEO Danielle Grant said in the release. “AchieveMpls is honored to help facilitate this collaboration, and will use this generous support for our Career & College Centers to ensure that all MPS students have the guidance and resources they need to access high-demand, living-wage careers.”