Building leaders on the east side
We have a vision to be a community that develops and restores mutually respectful relationships between people from diverse backgrounds, who together invest in the youth of our east side St. Paul neighborhood, equipping them to become self-sustaining, productive, and caring adults.
Here's what we do.
Lift Up Kids. Every Wednesday from 5:15 - 6:45 pm, students in first through sixth grade eat a family style dinner, learn basic financial literacy, grow in mindfulness, and practice life skills.
Cash In. Every Tuesday from 6:30 - 8:30 pm junior and senior high students gather as part of our Cash In program. After a family-style dinner, students earn Lift Dollars by participating in neighborhood service projects, completing financial literacy trainings, and visiting various work places to learn about jobs and careers. They can spend their Lift Dollars in our weekly Corner Store, which sells bus tokens, snacks, and hygiene items, or monthly in the Lift Store, where they can buy everything from school supplies and sports equipment to clothing, driver's training, and electronics. Students earn interest on saved Lift Dollars, have taxes withheld from their pay, and fill out tax returns at the end of the school year. Monthly certificates and Lift Dollar rewards are given for employee of the month and most improved employee.
Cash Wise, at The Plaza Theater. The Lift’s job skills program continues as students who have gone through Cash In are invited to apply for a job at The Plaza Theatre, which is owned by Woodland Hills Church and operated in partnership with The Lift. Students add customer service and cashiering to their job skills as we continue to emphasize the development of critical soft skills.
Beat Change. Students in all of our job skills programs are paid to attend a thirteen week life skills program that uses an art-based curriculum to work on skills such as conflict resolution, delayed gratification, healthy self esteem, growth in self awareness, emotional intelligence, and healthy relationships. Many Lift community members go through the class as well.
Changemakers Interns. Our paid intern program emphasizes leadership development and social responsibility. Interns from under-resourced backgrounds work ten hours each week, helping lead all Lift programs, as well as learn the basics of program development. They attend community engagement meetings and assist with networking and grant writing.At The Lift, the core of everything is a commitment to building long-term relationships with students and their families.