Urban Roots is Hiring!

Urban Roots Conservation Program Manager
Urban Roots (formerly Community Design Center of Minnesota) seeks a full-time Conservation Program Manager to lead our education and training programs in habitat restoration, water quality improvement, environmental learning and youth development. The position is part of a dynamic work environment in which a small staff collaborates to help St. Paul youth and families develop skills related to ecological stewardship, entrepreneurship, agriculture, healthy eating and community service through work projects that improve the community’s health and environment.

Primary Responsibilities:
• Leading our year-round Conservation Corps youth internship program for youth ages 14-18
• Assisting with the recruitment and hiring of youth interns
• Ensuring that youth are fully engaged in training, working and learning together
• Managing youth in environmental projects (primarily habitat restoration and rain gardens)
• Facilitating peer-led environmental learning for youth and families
• Fostering 21st Century skill development and personal development for participating youth
• Overseeing youth intern time sheets- verify hours, attendance and performance
• Supervising seasonal staff
• Coordinating volunteers
• Program evaluation and reporting

Preferred Qualifications:
• Experience with and a passion for working with youth
• Project management experience specifically relating to rain garden installation and maintenance
and habitat restoration including invasive species removal and other projects that restore natural
habitats and improve public spaces
• Experience teaching, developing lesson plans and coordinating education programs
• Self-motivated, team-oriented, creative and organized
• Experience working with community partners in collaborative efforts and programs.
• Enjoys working outside
• Valid driver’s license
• Willingness to obtain First Aid and CPR certification if not currently certified
• Bachelor or Masters degree in related field
• Supervisory experience
• At least 5 years of related experience
• Availability to work some evenings and weekends

Urban Roots is a 44-year-old non-profit organization with a mission to build vibrant, healthy communities through food, conservation and youth development. We operate food and ecology programs that place the tools of personal and community development in the hands of young people and families.

To apply: Please send a cover letter with salary requirements, resume and contact information for three references by December 13th to: admin@urbanrootsmn.org. Please write Conservation Program Manager in subject line. Urban Roots, Hiring Committee, 731 E. 7th Street, St. Paul, MN 55106.


Do you have what it takes to make a difference?!


The Sundance Family Foundation is partnering with Youthprise to focus on Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE) in the Twin Cities! We are looking to hire a passionate changemaker to work with us on this shared project.

Apply HERE

Applications will be accepted until December 1, 2013.



The Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE) Intern is a part-time, 30 hour/week position shared by the Sundance Family Foundation (SFF) and Youthprise.  This internship will provide an opportunity for youth to engage in transferable, professional experience, while making meaningful contributions to build the Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE) field in Minnesota.  The position involves a major research component through which the intern will be tasked with outreach, data collection and processing for a YSE Research Project. The YSE Intern will be an active part of the Youthprise Youth Innovators Collective (a Collective of youth, aged 18-25, who engage in authentic, transferable professional experience while making meaningful contributions to programs and services for youth across Minnesota), attend Youthprise staff meetings, attend conferences and work on the Collective’s projects. The intern will also support SFF’s YSE program by working closely with the SFF Foundation Manager to further the foundation’s YSE goals.

The ideal applicant will have an expressed interest in the field of Youth Social Entrepreneurship and experience with data collection and research. In addition, the intern is expected to be a good communicator, self-motivated and be able to create and maintain professional relationships out in the community.


  • Work with the Youthprise Research Team on outreach and data collection for YSE Research Project.
  • Use Microsoft Excel to collect, organize and analyze data.
  • Create quarterly Research Reports to share with the MN YSE Collaborative.
  • Participate in the Youthprise System-Building Initiative.
  • Promote and Maintain the SFF’s YSE Social Media Platform.
  • Provide SFF YSE Program Support.
  • Participate in Youthprise Innovators Collective.
  • Participate in SFF Board of Directors and Executive Team meetings.
  • Attend weekly check-ins with SFF Consulting Manager and Youthprise Supervisor.


  • College degree preferred, at least 2 years of college coursework required.
  • Must be energetic and have demonstrated experience working with youth.
  • Demonstrated excellence in oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work as a team, in a multi-generational, learning-based environment.
  • Self-motivated, proactive and displays initiative.
  • Experience with research methods and data collection.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel.
  • Commitment to youth and the essential engagement of all youth throughout society.

To apply for this position:

Apply online HERE with a letter of interest, résumé, a brief writing sample, and if possible, samples of your social media work.

“Timeless” Trunk Show Celebrates Local Talent, Entrepreneurship, and Creative Redesign!

Local fashion experts will serve as judges at a unique trunk show event – the third collaboration between Express Yourself Clothing and St. Catherine University’s Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Department. The event will feature the work of six students who used garments selected from Express Yourself Clothing to create original pieces for, “Timeless: Fashion Through The Ages.” Each ensemble will be judged by industry professionals, as well as customers to select a “Judges’ Choice” and a “Fan Favorite” award winner.

The trunk show is free and open to the public.


What:        Express Yourself Clothing is hosting a trunk show featuring unique re-designs by students in the St. Catherine University Apparel Design program.

Where:     Express Yourself Clothing, 1154 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104

When:       Friday, November 8, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm with an awards presentation beginning at 8:30 pm

The “Timeless” Trunk show is a part of a project designed by St. Catherine University Professor Anupama Pasricha, PhD. Through the project, a team of talented design students partners with youth apprentices at Express Yourself Clothing to produce the trunk show. The trunk show  serves as an opportunity to showcase the design talents of the students, highlights a commitment to teaching sustainability and celebrates the enterprising spirit of young women.

Expert Judges for the redesign competition include:

Kristy Janigo:  Academic Department Director, School of Fashion, Art Institutes

Allison Kaplan: Senior Editor, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine

Sally McGraw:  Author, Entrepreneur, alreadypretty.com

Tara Murphy:  Executive Director of MN Fashion

Sponsors for the event include:  Espresso Services, Inc. and Sexton Printing, Inc.


About Youth Express: Since 1995, Youth Express has offered young people apprenticeships at youth-directed social enterprises.  As a community based organization in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul, Youth Express serves the East Metro’s young people – helping to develop the entrepreneurial, work, and leadership potential of youth. Youth Express operates two youth directed social enterprises:  Express Bike Shop and Express Yourself Clothing.  The businesses serve as both traditional businesses and, behind the scenes, as business labs where urban youth learn the tools of entrepreneurship. 100% of all revenue from the stores is reinvested back into the Youth Express program to provide additional training and paid apprenticeships for more youth.

Youth Express is a program of Keystone Community Services, a community-based human service organization dedicated to helping individuals and families improve their quality of life. For more information about Keystone, go to www.keystonecommunityservices.org or call 651-603-6650.

YSE + MBV = An Awesome Summer Experience

During the summer of 2013, the Sundance Family Foundation sponsored thirteen youth from YSE organizations across the Twin Cities to attend Best Prep’s Minnesota Business Venture camp, a residential summer program conducted at St.John’s University and St.Could State University that brings high school students together to spend a week learning about leadership, business, financial literacy, and career options. During camp, students work together as a “company” while gaining knowledge from numerous guest speakers and volunteers.

After camp, we got together to discuss the YSEr’s favorite parts of the MBV experience:

Joe, who works at the Cookie Cart, shared that his favorite part of the camp was learning how to  create a business plan and make a pitch. He and his company decided to focus on creating a product to help consumers manage their finances.

Joe and his Company showing off their product: a smart wallet that keeps track of expenses!

Joe and his Company showing off their product: a smart wallet that keeps track of expenses!

Sitresse and Eboni, who also work at the Cookie Cart, made many new friends and had a lot of fun during free time. They said left camp more confident in their ability to speak in front of groups and be leaders. They look forward to taking the leadership and business skills back to their organizations.

Sitresse and Eboni with their MBV friends

Sitresse and Eboni with their MBV friends

Kristi, who participates in Ashoka’s Youth Venture, reflects on what the program meant to her:

My week at Minnesota Business Venture was an excellent learning experience and a chance to make lots of new friends.  Throughout the week we had to opportunity to learn from speakers about a variety of topics such as paying for college, starting your own business, public speaking, and more. Then we got to take what we learned from these speakers and use it to work with our team, or company. Our biggest challenge of the week was to put together a business plan and market a product that our company came up with. We only had a few days to get the presentation together and we had to work together in areas such as financing, marketing, and operations. Because I had to do this with people I’d never met before I learned new communication skills, practiced leadership, and most of all made new friends.

                The entire week was an opportunity to meet new people and practice an important skill in business and life: networking. Because I went into the camp not knowing anyone this was especially important for me. Luckily I made great friends with my roommate and my company. I always had people to sit with at meals and hang out with at rec time. Making new friends was a high lite of this camp and I’m glad I took the opportunity to do it.

MBV was an amazing opportunity and I’m so glad I was able to do it. Thank-you Sundance for sponsoring me to go and allowing me to have these new experiences. I learned a lot and I will be able to take what I learned and apply it to my youth venture next year. I would love the opportunity to come back to MBV as a CEO.

Future Business Leaders getting together to Brainstorm

Future Business Leaders getting together to Brainstorm

We at the Sundance Family Foundation are grateful to the wonderful staff at Best Prep’s MN Business Venture Camp for giving the YSErs such a great experience. We are excited to see what new ideas and skills these talented youth will be bringing back to the Twin Cities YSE community!

Apply for the ABC Summer of Service Awards

Are you a young person creating lasting, positive change through your volunteer and community service projects, apply for an ABC Summer of Service Award! Winners will receive $1,000 to help make a lasting, positive change in the world.

ABC, in partnership with Youth Service America, is looking to recognize young community changemakers, and help them on their mission to help others. They are especially interested in ongoing, youth-led projects that highlight the creativity and commitment of young people working to meet the needs of others. If you are a young person already involved in volunteering, submit your story of service!

Five exceptional ABC Summer of Service Award winners will receive an additional $5,000 award to continue their good work. Winners may be featured on ABC’s Good Morning America.  There is no separate application for these awards. Apply for an ABC Summer of Service Award through your nearest station to be considered.

Eligibility: Youth ages 5-18 located in and around your community are eligible to submit their good work and be considered for an ABC Summer of Service Award. Please note: Legally, if you are younger than 13, you must have a parent or guardian prepare and submit the application with you.

Apply by midnight on September 1, 2013.

Click here to access the online application!

A few of things to keep in mind:

  • Applicants must have already implemented a service project in their community.  The ABC Summer of Service Award is recognizing youth that have already served their community.
  • All applicants are required to have a sponsoring organization or school.  The award check will be sent to the sponsoring organization or school.  The sponsoring organization or school will accept the award funds for the applicant and work with them to utilize the funds.  YSA cannot send award funds to an individual.
  • In your application, you will have the chance to select the ABC station in your area. If you do not have an ABC station in your area, you may select “Other.”

If you have any questions check out the online application FAQ’s or contact Amanda McDonald at amcdonald@ysa.org.

The Power of Ideas: TED for YSE

TED is a circuit of highly popular conferences where really smart people get together to present ideas that they see as powerful enough to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. Though not everyone in the world is able to attend TED, thanks to the power of technology and growing global interconnectivity, everyone can benefit from the conversations and ideas being presented at TED conferences worldwide.

Here is a small collection of TED Talks to guide, challenge and inspire the world’s young entrepreneurs:

Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree

This serial entrepreneur and book author reminds everyone that to create positive change, we must do things differently including expending the energy and patience to engage with others who have different backgrounds, disciplines, and ways of thinking. Margaret Heffernan advises that we all resist the echo chamber and work to find constructive conflict.

Shaun Anchor: The Happy Secret to Better Work

“We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards?” This is the question psychologist Shawn Achor focuses on in this talk about happiness and work. He argues, using his research, that doing what makes you happy matters because happiness actually inspires productivity.

Aimee Mullins: It’s not fair having 12 pairs of legs

Entrepreneurship requires creativity—the kind that pushes the boundaries of possibility. In this talk, athlete, actor and activist Aimee Mullins shows us how she is doing just that through her prosthetic legs. Through her story and her legs, she is redefining what the body can be.

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Learn how you can inspire action by using the “Golden Circle.” In this talk Simon Sinek proposes that knowing your purpose, cause and belief, and the reason WHY your organization exists is key. He explains how great inspiring leaders have used this strategy to think, act and communicate in ways that motivate others.


Tim Harford: Trial, Error and the God complex

Economics writer Tim Harford talks about the surprising link he found among successful complex systems: they were all built through trial and error. He asks entrepreneurs to embrace randomness and start making better mistakes.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

In this funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk, Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses. She shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius that we can cultivate.

Celebrate Mandela Day!

Mandela Day is a day of service that recognizes the South African activist and former president, Nelson Mandela’s birthday. The holiday, which was ratified by the United Nations four years ago, serves to encourage citizens across the globe to give at least 67 minutes — a minute for each year of Mandela’s service — of their day to improving the world.

Today, on July 18th, Mandela, who has suffered several health complications and has been in and out of the hospital, turns 95!

As you read this, thousands of people across the world are celebrating his tireless struggle for human dignity and his lifelong commitment to pursue the greater good.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation and its sister organizations, which sponsor the holiday, say that the idea behind Mandela Day is a simple one:

Each and every one of us has the ability to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

It doesn’t take much to make every day a Mandela Day: if we were all to give just 67 minutes, one minute for every year of Madiba’s fight for human rights and social justice, we can make a huge difference.

Here is a list of 10 ways that you can celebrate Mandela day:

1) Make a new friend. Get to know or go to lunch with someone from a different cultural background.

2) Read to someone. Visit a library or local home for the blind or elderly.

3) Help someone get a job. Review their résumé or test their interview skills.

4) Clean up your community. Paint a mural over graffiti, help fix up a run-down playground or pick up trash.

5) Host a back-to-school drive. Help kids in your community get ready for school by having the supplies or clothing they need.

6) Offer to tutor someone. Pick a subject that you’re good at and try to help someone with their learning and/or study skills in that subject.

7) Find out what matters in your neighborhood. Organize a public issues forum for you and your neighbors.

8) Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank. Help feed the hungry in your area.

9) Be an advocate for the disabled. Conduct a workplace or community accessibility check to identify potential barriers for individuals with disabilities.

10) Go green(er). If there are no recycling options where you live or work, petition your job or local lawmakers to provide one.

Plan your own project or find more suggestions at MandelaDay.com!