Goal: All children and youth will have caring relationships, enrichment activities, and the investment from their communities to grow into a successful adulthood.

Children and youth require love, guidance, and resources, yet they also contribute immensely to our communities. As they grow, many care for siblings, assist neighbors, work, and volunteer. Outside of school, many also participate in enrichment activities such as sports, arts, community service, mentoring, and religious activities. As youth take on these roles, they discover and hone skills they will use now and as adults – in advanced education, employment, civic engagement, and family life. However, not all children have equal family resources, connections with other caring adults, or access to quality enrichment activities to help guide them on their paths to adulthood.

What's happening

  • Minnesota's child population is far more diverse than generations before them, including many children of immigrants. The number of Hispanic children in Minnesota has nearly quadrupled since 1990. Of all the Black children in our state, 43 percent have a foreign-born parent.
  • Seven out of 10 students were connected to a caring adults in the community – such as a teacher, coach, mentor or youth worker – in 2010. Girls were more likely than boys to report this connection to caring adults, and younger students were more likely to feel connected than older students.
  • About two-thirds of students in Minnesota participate in enrichment activities (such as sports, arts, mentoring, religious activities, or community education) three times a week or more. Yet, only about half of Hispanic and Asian students are highly engaged in these out-of-school time activities that are associated with positive youth development outcomes.

Making connections

Learn more about academic outcomes in our Education section. Outside of school, many teens work and/or volunteer. Today's children and youth are very different from the older generations in our state.

Minnesota Compass

Minnesota Compass
Led by Wilder Research

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