Project Success: 30 Years and Counting!

Connecting students to their purpose for 30 years

January 31, 2024

A message from our Executive Director and Founder:

Adrienne Diercks on one of Project Success’ first all-school theater field trips.

Thirty years ago on January 3, 1994, Project Success was founded. It all began with 200 seniors at North Community High School attending a production of Macbeth at the Guthrie Theater. The next day, I facilitated in-class workshops with the students using the theater performance as a springboard for discussion. In the classroom of George Roberts, my former teacher at Anwatin Middle School, the energy from the students was palpable. After gathering as a community the night before, the students were eager to discuss the themes, characters, and stories in the play and how they connected to their own lives.

Now in our 30th year, our deep belief in students and our mission of connecting students to their purpose hasn’t changed. We invest deeply in youth because we believe every student has what they need inside of them to realize their dreams. We believe in each student as they become the curator of their own life, providing them with experiences of excellence and caring adults to support their dreams. That is the foundation of our work.

Project Success now works with every 6th – 12th grade student in Minneapolis Public Schools – over 15,000 students and their families annually. This year brings even more exciting news as we expand beyond Minneapolis. Our proven DIG (Dream. Ignite. Grow.) methodology of experiential learning guides our Workshops, Arts, Expedition, and Institute programs. With a dedicated team of 46 staff, 19 board, and countless alumni, volunteers, contractors, donors, partners, and community members who help to make the Project Success mission a reality – we are connecting students to their purpose.

In 30 years, Project Success has served 225,000+ students and counting – fostering alumni who have a deeper understanding of themselves and an authentically personal vision of their future.

Reflecting on 30 years, my fondest memories revolve around the students I have had the joy of learning and growing alongside. Through it all, “Kids First” has remained our #1 value.

In 2024, we are excited to showcase the stories of our students and alumni, honor partners who have made our work possible, and look ahead to the future where we will continue to support the dreams, plans, and goals of young people. We will offer innovative programming for students and families in Minneapolis, while expanding our student, staff, and community spaces at our Minneapolis headquarters and bringing our proven programming to impact more communities and students.

As Project Success celebrates 30 years, we invite you to join us:
  • Share a moment, memory, milestone, or special experience with Project Success
  • Volunteer your time and talents to support current students and families
  • Make a gift to help connect students to their purpose for years to come

Visit our 30th Anniversary page to join the celebration, view alumni testimonials, a 30 year timeline, photos, and more! Reach out to me at if you want to talk further about ways you can engage with PS during our 30th anniversary.

Stay tuned for 30th celebrations to come this year and exciting news about how we plan to grow our impact with new communities and students!

With deep appreciation and gratitude to every person who has helped us connect with students during these 30 years,

Adrienne Diercks