Mayo Clinic, NAACP team up on employment challenges facing minority youth

New 'RISE for Youth' to offer new pathways to success.

Posted: Nov 1, 2021 1:04 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Clinic is teaming up with the Rochester Branch of the NAACP to launch “RISE for Youth,” a new program to provide Black and underrepresented students with new pathways to success in education and employment, while also addressing the racial disparities that stand in the way of their success.

"All young people have potential, but not all of them ― particularly Black and underrepresented students ― have the opportunity to realize it," says Anjali Bhagra, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. "The RISE for Youth program will provide these students with critical educational and leadership skills, and training and long-term mentoring, for successful careers in health care, science and beyond."

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development report says a huge employment gap exists between white college graduates and minorities such as African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians. “RISE for Youth” will be a four-week summer program that will provide coursework and hands-on experience to two groups of students: RISE Up targets postsecondary students, and RISE High targets high school juniors and seniors.

"As participants complete the program, they in turn become leaders and changemakers who will further reduce racial disparities and break down barriers for those that follow," says Walé Elegbede, president of the Rochester branch of the NAACP. "Our goal is to expand this program to other communities and states, so that racial equity in education and employment truly becomes a reality. The National NAACP sees the RISE for Youth program as an example of Mayo Clinic taking concrete steps toward advancing racial justice."

The NAACP and a consortium of community leaders will select the students who will participate in the program. You can learn more about the RISE for Youth program on the Rochester Branch of NAACP website and Mayo Clinic's Community Engagement website.

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