Path to College Walk: North Minneapolis youth aim high

- Along Broadway Avenue on the north side of Minneapolis, hundreds of children, parents and teachers took to the streets Friday morning for the third annual Path to College Walk – a march encouraging north side youth to aim high.

Minnesota's achievement gap ranks among the worst in the nation and the gap is more pronounced on the city's north side. For many students, the dream of going to college can sadly be seen as an unattainable one. But one group is trying to change all that. 

“We believe in our youth’s unlimited potential;,” said Adrienne Vitt of the Northside Achievement Zone. “This is about academic aspirations and really saying that anyone and everyone can go to college with the right support and resources belief and enthusiasm.”

The Northside Achievement Zone is working to close the achievement gap and end generational poverty in a community often plagued by crime.

“The belief gap is real,” said Andre McNeal of the Northside Achievement Zone. “A lot of families in certain communities don’t believe that they have the right to go to college, or that they can afford college or that they should go to college.”

This year’s march comes during a week of violence, most notably the officer-involved shooting last weekend.

“It’s important to heal and use this as an opportunity to move forward and heal together,” said State Sen. Bobby Joe Champion.

High School Senior Kierra Phillips is among youth who walked away inspired.

“I want to support all the people, all the young people and tell them that we can do anything, we can overcome anything,” Phillips said.

According to Northside Achievement Zone, only 16 percent of black youth on the north side graduate ready for college. Data shows that families working with the organization are making remarkable strides.

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