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.
- Children and youth are more racially and ethnically diverse than our population as a whole. Thirty-one percent of Minnesota's youth (0-19) are children of color, compared to 21 percent of all residents.
- Sixty percent of students reported they feel connected to a caring adult in the community, such as a teacher, coach, mentor or youth worker.
- In fifth grade, both sexes report this connection at higher rates than at intervals during the rest of their schooling, with a larger percentage of girls reporting a connection to a caring adult than boys. However, by the time they are in 11th grade, girls are less likely than boys to report this connection.
- Just under 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. When we look at the data by racial and ethnic group, half of Hispanic, American Indian and Asian students are highly engaged in these out-of-school time activities. For students who are black, white, or of two or more races, participation is closer to two thirds.
- At a glance, four percent of Minnesota children and youth were born in another country. Looking closer, 23 percent of Asian children and youth were born outside the U.S., as were 17 percent of black children and youth and 6 percent of Hispanic children and youth.
Today's children and youth are very different from the older generations in our state. Learn more about academic outcomes in our Education section. Outside of school, many teens work and/or volunteer.