Founder and Executive Director
Adrienne Diercks is the founder and Executive Director of Project SUCCESS, a youth-development organization that motivates and inspires young people to dream about the future, helps them take steps to get there and gives them the tools they need to achieve their goals. Adrienne has a vision that every child entering middle school will graduate high school with a plan for their future and have the skills and confidence that will take them through the rest of their lives.
Her passion to help young people achieve their dreams led her to begin Project SUCCESS in 1994 with 200 students at Minneapolis North High School and the support of the Guthrie Theater. Today, she has grown the program to serve 12,000 students and their families and 15 schools in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, with 35 theater partners across the Twin Cities.
Adrienne was named a 2008 Minneapolis Saint Paul Business Journal "Woman to Watch", and has been honored with the Minneapolis Award for her outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the City of Minneapolis, the Community Member Arts Advocate Award from the Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education, and the Hispanic Heritage Month Award for work in education with the Hispanic community. Under her leadership, Project SUCCESS received the 2008 Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Sally Award for Excellence in Education. In 2010, Adrienne was honored with Ann Bancroft Foundation's "Dream Maker" Award for Achievement and Leadership and the first-ever Minneapolis Metro School Counselor Association "Friend of Counseling" Award. In 2015, Project SUCCESS received a Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award for the outstanding character and ethical leadership development of its experiential learning programming.
In addition to her role at Project SUCCESS, Adrienne serves on the Mission Impact Council to support opportunities for urban and underserved youth in the Twin Cities, the Itasca Project College & Career Readiness Advisory Group, and the Minneapolis Public School District Global Education Task Force. She is a graduate of the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute.
Prior to her work with Project SUCCESS, Adrienne founded Possibilities, Inc., a non-profit whose mission was to inspire kids to dream about their lives. In that role, she traveled throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin conducting inspirational workshops.
Adrienne has a B.A. in English from Whittier College and is a proud graduate of Minneapolis Public Schools.
“My mission has not changed in twenty years. It is to inspire young people to dream about their futures, help them take the steps to get there and to gain the tools they will need to achieve those dreams and goals and carry them through the rest of their lives. It’s about helping to create equity for all, one child at a time.”