Karla Ekdahl is a Director Emeritus at Project Success. She served on the Board of Directors from 1999 until 2022. Over her 23 years of service, Project Success grew from working with 3,600 students at three schools to working with EVERY 6th – 12th grade student – more than 15,000 – in the Minneapolis Public Schools annually. No volunteer has logged more hours or had more impact per hours logged, to raise community support and awareness for Project Success than Karla.
As a Minneapolis Public Schools and Project Success (PS) parent, Karla joined the PS Board because she saw first-hand how powerful it is to really see young people, deeply hear and respect their hopes and dreams, and then provide them with tools to achieve their dreams. PS established this fund in honor of her many years of commitment to our students and families.
“Our young people deserve futures full of promise and purpose. I have seen how Project Success connects with young people, earns their trust, opens possibilities and offers opportunities to see a bigger world and dream bigger dreams. This is what we need in the world today. I want Project Success to be able to say ‘YES’ to our students as often as we possibly can.”
– Karla Ekdahl
The Karla Ekdahl Fund provides funds specifically designated to advance students’ access to meaningful experiences that ignite their imaginations and help them achieve their dreams. For example, while most opportunities are offered at no cost to students, PS charges a participation fee for some experiences, such as the BWCA Adventures and out-of-state college tours. The Karla Ekdahl Fund allows us to say “yes” to more students and families who are unable to pay the fee. We also have students and former students who need something to help them pursue an opportunity – like a new suit, a pair of glasses or tuition dollars. With the Karla Ekdahl Fund, PS can say “YES” to bridging that gap for more students.
Examples of saying “YES!”:
Shaadia is a Project Success alumna whose time in our programs included in-class workshops, college tours, theater, and global experiences. After she had graduated high school and began attending Augsburg University, she called us during her first semester of college looking for some help with her tuition so she could register for the next semester. We were able to say “YES,” with a little bit of financial help that kept her in school. This Spring 2022, we celebrated Shaadia’s graduation from Augsburg University.
Suggested gift amount to fund: $1,000 – $5,000
Equipment and Supplies:
Xai was a PS student at Anwatin Middle School. One day, she was participating in a PS activity and walked straight into a glass door. Our staff quickly realized that Xai was having difficulty seeing. They took her to an optical shop and purchased a pair of glasses. Recently, Xai wrote to us: “I appreciate what you did for me! I wore the glasses until Sophomore year of college. You guys helped me see.”
Suggested gift amount to fund: $100 – $500
BWCA Scholarships and Gear:
Last year alone, PS said “YES” to more than 100 students who needed help with paying the participation fee in order to join us on the trip. Not only did PS cover the fee, we also provided the rain gear, socks, toiletries, sleeping bags and more that students did not have. After one trip, a BWCA parent wrote to us: “This summer my son, a sixth-grade student, had the opportunity to participate in Project Success’ trip to the boundary waters and I can say without reservation that he came home a changed man.
Suggested gift amount to fund: $800 – $10,000
Following its establishment in April of 2022, the Karla Ekdahl Fund received an initial kick-off donation of $10,000! Project Success is working to build upon this momentum and quickly expand our ability to say “YES” as much as possible.
As of October 19, 2022, Project Success has raised $15,000 toward our $100,000 goal by December 2022.
You can make a difference:
As you consider your annual giving to Project Success, please think about making a gift, over and above your annual support, toward the Karla Ekdahl Fund. Indicate your designated amount to the fund on your checks, donation forms, donor advised fund messages.
Adrienne announced The Karla Ekdahl Fund for the first time at the 2022 Dreams to Action Breakfast: