GOLD2023

Project Success

Where students connect to their purpose.

aka Project Success   |   Minneapolis, MN   |  www.projectsuccess.org

Mission

Project Success motivates and inspires young people to dream about the future, helps them take steps to get there and gives them the tools they need to achieve their goals. Our vision is that every child entering middle school will graduate high school with a plan for their future and have the skills and confidence that will take them through the rest of their lives.

Ruling year info

1996

Founder & Executive Director

Adrienne Diercks

Main address

One Groveland Terrace, Suite 300

Minneapolis, MN 55403 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

41-1837278

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our country faces inequities between students’ access to developmental experiences and relationships that prepare them for future success. \n\nMiddle school students need to build the confidence and supportive relationships that will help them successfully transition to high school and high school students need opportunities to expand their visions of their future and build skills that will prepare them for the future. Our public schools cannot do this without effective community partnerships.\n\nFor example, despite the nearly universal acknowledgment of the importance of guidance counselors, Minnesota schools remain severely understaffed, with one counselor for every 780 students - fewer counselors per student than all but three other states. The American School Counselor Association recommends a 250-to-1 ratio.\n\nMore than ever, young people need the help, advice and support of school staff and caring adults, and the experiences that will unlock their potential for future success.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Project Success

Since 1994, Project Success has helped more than 200,000 students dream big and dig deep into discovering their potential through a proven model of experiential learning. From 6th grade through 12th grade, our caring professional staff support and engage students inside and outside their classrooms with the following program components:
• Curriculum – clear developmental objectives for students are built into each experience
• Arts – theater is a powerful way to inspire self-expression, connection, and discussion
• Expeditions – local to global expeditions inspire growth, discovery, and open doors to possibility
• Certificates – students develop skills, knowledge, and career options in key subjects
"Project Success works. We see statistically significant positive gains in on-time graduation rates, attendance and most importantly grade point average, which is the greatest predictor of future success."
- Eric Moore, Senior Advisor to the Superintendent, Minneapolis Public Schools

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

Awards

Sally Award for Education 2008

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Dream Maker Award 2010

Ann Bancroft Foundation

Friend of Counseling Award 2010

Minneapolis Metro School Counselor Association

Women of Distinction - Adrienne Diercks 2017

Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys

Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award 2015

Synergy & Leadership Exchange

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We believe the key to success exists within each student if empowered to unlock it.\n\nOur mission is to motivate and inspire young people to dream about the future, help them take steps to get there and give them the tools they need to achieve their goals.\n\nFor 25 years, Project Success has provided the developmental experiences and support that strategically complement the work of counselors, teachers and schools to help fill that opportunity gap found in many Minnesota schools and communities.\n\nSince 1994, Project Success has helped 100,000 students dream big and dig deep into discovering their potential through a proven model of experiential learning. Beginning in 6th grade and continuing through 12th grade, our caring professional staff support and engage students inside and outside their classrooms with the following program components: \n\n• Curriculum – clear developmental objectives for students are built into each experience\n• Arts – theater is powerful way to inspire self-expression, connection, and discussion \n• Expeditions – local to global expeditions inspire growth, discovery, and open doors to possibility\n• Certificates – students develop skills, knowledge, and career options in key subjects\n\nTogether, these components — delivered within Project Success’ proven methodology — inspire thousands of students each year to dream big, ignite possibilities and grow into inspired individuals ready for success.\n\nThe Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has shown through national studies that evidence-based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies are critically important for students’ academic achievement, the long-term success of all students in today’s economy, and in the future workforce. \n\nProject Success’ (PS’) goals for students are centered around these precise SEL domains, with clear objectives built into our published curriculum over the seven-year continuum a student participates in PS. We build each developmental experience offered to students using our curriculum objectives, inspiring students to dream big, ignite possibilities and grow into inspired individuals ready for success by connecting what they are doing today with their future dreams and goals – their purpose.\n\nOur vision is that every child entering middle school will graduate high school with a plan for their future and have the skills and confidence that will take them through the rest of their lives.

Project Success’ proven methodology serving the whole child over time, creates the social context needed for young adults’ development toward success — combining time, support and access with program experiences offered through:\n\n• Arts – theater and the arts are powerful ways to inspire self-expression, connection, and discussion. Examples of activities include school musicals and performances offered by professional Twin Cities theaters. \n• Expeditions – local to global expeditions inspire growth, discovery, and open doors to possibility. Examples include college and career tours; global travel in and outside the U.S.; outdoor experiences locally, to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and to Mexico. \n• Certificates – students develop skills, knowledge, and career options in key subjects. For example, 10-week courses are offered at the Project Success Institute in financial literacy, coding, performing arts, and health and wellness.\n• Curriculum - Each student in every school we serve participates in monthly workshops in class with their Project Success facilitator, whose activities are based on our proven curriculum. We then expand those developmental objectives for students by building a curriculum for each experience offered outside of class time where students can put their goals into action.\n\nProject Success program facilitators (who are assigned to specific partner schools) work alongside teachers in all English/Language Arts classrooms. Our facilitators spend 80% of their time in their assigned schools, interacting with students and staff in and outside of the classroom. We are the only program that comes to every English classroom, every month for each student.\n\nProject Success’ middle school curriculum goals are to facilitate our students’ self-understanding, ability to set and achieve goals, and preparation for the transition to high school. Our goal is that by the end of 8th grade, students have a strong sense of self, and have identified the support, experiences and skills they can take with them to high school, and a sense of confidence about the next academic year. \n\nOur high school curriculum goals are to help students further explore their self-understanding and passions and what they want out of high school, develop their skills to research and make choices, and prepare for life after graduation. By spring of their senior year, we want all students to have a personal, post-high school plan that best suits their needs, personalities, and goals and the life-skills that will serve their long-term future. \n\n Our in-school programming is the foundation through which students build trust, support and skills needed to find the courage and confidence to participate in our out-of-school time activities, and provide the space and time need to reflect upon those experiences and how they relate to their own lives and success.

Since 1994, Project Success has helped 100,000 students dream big and dig deep into discovering their potential through a proven model of experiential learning. Project Success currently serves 15,000 students and their families each year in 23 Minneapolis Public Schools. We have a long waiting list of schools. \n\nProject Success is the only community partner that comes to every English classroom, every month for each student attending one of the schools we serve. We achieve this trust with teachers, administrators and the district through our high commitment to quality and our consistent positive outcomes over 25 years. \n\nWith 25 years of sustained data, Project Success increases student skills and motivation, leading to deeper engagement and increases in academic performance:\n\n• 90% of students report that Project Success helps them set goals and create a plan for after graduation.\n• 96% of teachers report that Project Success helps students set goals for the future.\n• More than half of all alumni said that Project Success “has had an impact on what I have been doing since graduation.”\n\n"Project Success works. We see statistically significant positive gains in on-time graduation rates, attendance and most importantly grade point average, which is the greatest predictor of future success."- Eric Moore, Chief of Accountability, Innovation and Research, Minneapolis Public Schools.

With 25 years of sustained data*, Project Success’ proven methodology inspires deeper engagement from students, increases academic performance and sets the stage for future success.\n\n"Project Success works. It helps support our efforts in closing the achievement gaps. We see statistically significant positive gains in on-time graduation rates, attendance, and most importantly grade point average, which is the greatest predictor of future success." \n- Eric Moore, Chief of Academics and Accountability, Research and Equity, Minneapolis Public Schools\n\nThrough Project Success, students build and increase:\n\nGoal setting and future planning skills:\n• 90% of students report that Project Success helps them set goals and create a plan for after graduation.\n• 96% of teachers report that Project Success helps students set goals for the future.\n\nIdentity development:\n• 96% of teachers report that Project Success helps students be more self-aware of their strengths.\n• 80% of students report that Project Success "helped me to better understand myself."\n\nLearning strategies:\n• 96% of teachers report that Project Success helps students be better problem solvers.\n• 95% of teachers report that Project Success helps students be more knowledgeable about themselves as learners.\n\nSchool engagement \n• 92% of teachers report that Project Success helps students be more engaged in school\n• 88% of teachers report that Project Success helps student be more motivated to succeed in school.\n\nTeam building\n• 80% of students report that Project Success "helped me to better understand classmates who have different perspectives and experiences."\n• 94% of teachers report that Project Success helps students work more collaboratively in groups.\n\nThe Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has shown through national studies that evidence-based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies are critically important for students’ academic achievement, the long-term success of all students in today’s economy, and in the future workforce. \n\nOver the last 3 years, PS has worked with MPS schools to expand to serve more 6-12 grade students and develop new experience-learning and skill-building opportunities for students that take place outside of the classroom to increase students’ skills, motivation, agency and preparedness for their futures. Our goals are to serve every 6-12 grade MPS student for system-wide impact, deepen our service to each student for greater impact, and share our proven model to expand impact outside of Minneapolis. \n\n* Our program has been independently measured in three comprehensive evaluations, conducted by the University of Minnesota Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI), demonstrating statistically significantly higher results for students of color and for students from school located

Financials

Project Success
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Project Success

Board of directors
as of 02/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Shana Moses

Strategist Amplify and Elevate Consulting

Term: 2023 -

Todd Macgregor

Retail Consultant

Agnes Semington

IMAGINE

Cheryl Creecy

Education Relations Consultant

Elise Linehan

Community Leader

Julie Zelle

Community Leader

Adrienne Diercks

Project Success

Moira Grosbard

Network Careers Inc.

Charles Montreuil

Best Buy

Ann Ruschy

Alignment Leadership Consulting

David Best

General Mills

Issara Srun

Arctic Wolf

Betsy Horton

S&W Seed Company

Sabina Saksena

Cytilife

Shana Moses

Amplify and Elevate Consulting

Shiz Koizumi

Cargill, Inc.

Jody Rodrigues

Travelers

Ertugrul Tuzcu

Tuzcu Organizational Effectiveness Consulting

Wayne Zink

Metropolitan Skin Clinic

Ronald A. Morton, Jr. MD

Boston Scientific

Peter Prudden

Prudden Company Real Estate

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/14/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data