Project Success 2022-2023 Top 20 Program Highlights

May 19, 2023


4,000 In-Class PS Workshops

This school year, 15,000+ MPS middle and high school students collectively received 4,000 in-class workshops. Students engaged in one workshop per month with our highly trained facilitators. Our proven curriculum helps students dream, ignite and grow.


PS Credit Recovery

For the second school year, Project Success continued to work with our partner schools to provide experiential learning opportunities where they can also earn credit to support their path to graduation.  


High School Students Explore College with PS

426 high school students from our partner schools attended over 16 + PS college tours. Students travel to a variety of 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities, and trade schools, locally, throughout the state of Minnesota, and nationally with Project Success.

Learn about our 2022 MEA PS fall college tours here. Or read our student’s first-person recount of attending multiple PS college tours!


Spring Break College Conversations workshops

Project Success hosted in-person and virtual college workshops over spring break. The workshops covered topics on how to finance post-secondary education, thrive academically, and connect with others and build community.


Students Learned Life and Career Skills through PS Institute Certificates This School Year!

178 high school students earned certificates in Cooking, Coding, Money Management, Bike Tech, and Girls with Impact in the Project Success Institute. This program is designed to give students a deeper dive into the professional and technical life skills they need to make their way in the world. Students also receive mentorship and learn from leaders and professionals in relevant career fields.


28 Institute Students Earned Mini-MBAs

The Project Success Institute partnered with Girls With Impact to offer their Harvard-designed online class which encourages students to learn how to turn their passion into entrepreneurship. From building a business/nonprofit or engaging within a traditional career path, students “graduated” from this course with confidence in themselves and their futures. Upon the completion of this course, students present their entrepreneurial plans to their peers.


Celebrity Chefs at Our PS Institute

Food is culture, connection, and, ultimately, community. At the Project Success Institute, our students, volunteer coaches, and staff are no strangers to exploring the diverse flavors and histories of the dishes students learn to create. This year we had numerous well-known local and national celebrity chefs teach cultural dishes to our students during the cooking certificate. To learn more about our cooking certificate this school year, click here.


Outdoor Adventures, the BWCA, and the Apostle Islands

220+ middle school students this summer will be going on a week-long adventure with a group of their MPS district peers to the Boundary Water Canoe Area. 12 middle schoolers will explore the Apostle Islands on an outdoor experience open to students of all abilities, where they will receive additional support to engage with the outdoors. From hiking, kayaking, connecting with nature and each other, students will learn self-confidence and ignite curiosity of the world around them while participating in activities in the great outdoors! Learn about last year’s trip here.


Build a Canoe at the Zoo

10 MPS middle school students built a kayak from scratch at the Minnesota Zoo, hiked the Lebanon Hills Regional Park trails, and paddled the lakes – exploring the birdlife, wildlife, and insects that inhabit the area. Students also explored the Minnesota Zoo with a naturalist zoo instructor, received a lesson on dragonflies and damselflies, and learned how to build enrichment environments to ensure snakes have spaces to keep their brains and bodies active. 


Representation in STEM

As part of our partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota, students and families engaged with Science Fusion: A Celebration of Diversity in Science events! Students were able to engage with science professionals, explore potential career pathways, and participate in exhibits of history across four events: African Americans in STEM, Asian Americans in STEM, Latinx Americans in STEM, and Native Americans in STEM!

PS Facilitator Amber working with a student during an Outdoor Adventure Field Trip

Middle School Students Participate in PS Outdoor Adventure (OA) Field Trips 

This fall and spring, Project Success partnered with Friends of the Boundary Waters and Minneapolis Parks, and Wilderness Inquiry to connect 680+ students with nature in the city. Learn more about our fall OA field trips
One teacher had this to say about their experience during this programming:

 “This was a true introduction to our inner-city youth of what the outdoors has to offer, from a perspective different than their own. This may/will spark that desire to learn more on how to enjoy nature and all its glory.”

A student going down a hill on a tube at the Loppet Foundation during Winter Adventure Day

Winter Adventure Day

Partnering with the Loppet Foundation and the Friends of the Boundary Waters wilderness Project Success, 120 middle school students and families experienced all the engaging possibilities of fresh snow! Activities offered at this year’s PS Winter Adventure Day included cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, winter camping tips and tricks, disc golf, face painting, roasting marshmallows, and more! 


PS International Connection 

This winter, PS brought back its popular program Pen Pal Connections! 50 of our middle and high school students connected with students in the Czech Republic over an 8-week period. With letters and a final Zoom meetup video connection, students were able to learn what life is like for students in a different culture and country, and share their own expereinces.


Traveling to Washington D.C.

Project Success will bring high school students from each MPS high school to Washington D.C. in June, thanks to our partnership with the Minnesota Vikings. Keep your eyes peeled for our adventures on social media, and consider reading about last year’s trip from the perspective of alum and trip chaperone Shaadia Munye. 

Charlie from Northeast Middle School’s Willy Wonka Jr. musical

Disney’s Descendants: The Musical

88 Sanford Middle School students performed onstage and behind the scenes in the PS Disney Musical Descendants. A student at Sanford asked PS to bring this production to their school, making this program even more unforgettable! To learn more about our musicals this school year, click here.


Willy Wonka Jr.

71 Northeast Middle School students seized the day on and off stage, dancing, singing, and connecting with each other and the characters of Willy Wonka Jr. After last year’s first ever PS musical at Northeast, we were excited to continue this program with their school community.


PS Free Evening and Weekend Theater Experiences

We utilize the power of theater and the arts to inspire, build community, act as a springboard for discussion and encourage students to tell their own stories. This school year, more than 7,000 students and families experienced free theater thanks to the generous support from our 50+ theater partners. Free transportation is also provided to ensure accessibility. Learn more about our theater opportunities here. Thank you to our incredible theater partners for another great year!


PS Theater School Field Trips

5,000+ students and many of our partner teachers attended PS theater field trips throughout this school year. Theater performances inspire dialogue and allow students to have deeper conversations with peers about their identities and societal issues. Theater becomes more than just a show to take in: it broadens your world and connects you to others. Our team helps to prepare students with pre-show workshops, and facilitates reflections afterward.


PS Theater Residencies

Around 400 students engaged with our theater residency program – where we facilitate connection and curriculum between our partner theaters with our students and teachers in meaningful ways. This year we partnered with VocalEssence, the Ordway, Cedar Cultural Center, Northrop, Yellow Tree Theater, and James Sewell Ballet. These partnerships can include artists coming into the classroom for multiple interactive workshops, students engaging with artists and crew at the theaters, and more. By the end of these educational and interactive programs, students have increased encouragement and creative tools to express themselves.

Heart of Afghanistan musicians members gives students a 360-degree view of Afghan culture through music, poetry, art, and cultural heritage.

Our Northeast Middle School Willy Wonka Jr. students singing on the Target Field during the Minnesota Twins game vs the Cubs

“Play Ball!” 

In our 19th annual Fielding Dreams, 1,300+ students and families attended a Twins game as thanks to the donated tickets from the Minnesota Twins. Our Northeast Middle School musical students were able to sing on the field and lead the 7th inning stretch. This event is a reflection of our successful community partnership built on a shared belief in young people and their ability to ignite success from within. To read more about this event and the sponsors who made it possible click here

Written by Jazz Castañeda. Edited by Caitlin DeVos, Ah Lor, and Laura Garcia.