‘RISE for Youth Program’ aims to help students enter the workforce

(ABC 6 NEWS) – There is a new first-of-its-kind collaboration between Mayo Clinic and the Rochester Branch of the NAACP it’s called RISE for Youth Program.

There are two tracks for the RISE for Youth Program, one is RISE Up for post-secondary education students, and the other is RISE High for high school juniors and seniors.

This program will help black and underrepresented students transform themselves from youth with potential to competitive and empowered talent entering the workforce.

Students will gain new educational, leadership, and professional skills to join in careers such as science, health, business, and more.

"Immersion in certain fields, kind of hands-on opportunities to see what a phlebotomist, what does a surge tech do, what does a sonographer do, but again the win for us is that they complete the program and they either continue into the labor market or into higher education," Mayo Clinic Administrator and Rochester NAACP Branch Secretary, Barbara Jordan said.

The hope is that this program could eventually become a national program that helps empower generations to make it in whatever they strive to do.

"You’re also providing mentoring, you’re providing access, networking, so we feel that if we do that and we fully support these kids and young leaders, it will lead to success," President of the Rochester NAACP Branch, Walé Elegbede said.

According to the state of Minnesota Employment and Economic Reporter, there is a huge employment gap between white college graduates and minorities such as African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians.

This program is giving students an opportunity when they otherwise might not have one.

"There are not deficits in our kids of color they have assets just like majority group kids there are just gaps in the systemic issues that plague them. Whether it’s poverty whether it’s housing, whether it is transportation," Jordan said.

There is a stipend to allow everyone access to the program.

The students will get $960 to help with things such as transportation or keeping food on the table as they take the four-week course.

60.5% of African Americans will not complete a college degree, according to DEED.

"The data does not lie that we have not really been fully supporting everyone so from an equity perspective this is a way we can start to mitigate that. Everybody needs to be in," Elegbede said.

This is the first time this program will be put on and it starts this summer in June and July.

Applications are due March 1st and you can find out more here.