Beacons Model

The Minneapolis Beacons Network engages almost 4,000 K-12th grade Minneapolis youth as leaders and learners each year, providing opportunities for academic, leadership, and 21st Century skill development afterschool and in the summer.

The mission of Beacons is to engage youth as leaders and learners from kindergarten through high school graduation to prepare them for success in the 21st Century.

Collaborative Partnership

  • School partner and lead Youth Development partner coordinate and leverage resources.

Beacon Center Components

Ladders of Leadership

We develop progressive leadership development opportunities for youth and young adults.

Family and Community Partnership

We provide outreach to and engagement with families.  We bring programs and services into schools.

The Beacons Way

  • Embodies a youth development philosophy and approach.
  • Fosters youth-adult partnerships and honors youth voice & choice.
  • Creates a powerful sense of belonging and identity through shared rituals and traditions.
  • Embraces and celebrates the rich cultures alive across Minneapolis.

Engaged Learning

Teachers and youth workers partner to design hands-on learning experiences and provide targeted support

Program Choices

We provide a wide menu of structured, high-quality programs.


Beacon Network Components

Resource Development

We coordinate collaborative funding requests and align public & private resources.

Collective Vision

We connect partners to a common vision and strategies through convening & communication.

Data Driven Culture

We use program quality and youth outcome evaluation data to continuously improve practice.

Citywide Youth Engagement

We partner with young people, engaging them as decision makers in their schools and communities.

Cross Agency Professional Development

We coordinate joint learning opportunities to build capacity across Minneapolis.

Best Practice Documents

  • Art and geography projects at a Spring showcase

What did you learn at Beacons?

”I learned to express my thoughts aloud and talk to a big crowd.“