Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities to Lead Graduation Coaches Mentoring Program in Fall 2019

April 10, 2019 , Jennifer Severson

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities will assume leadership of the AchieveMpls Graduation Coaches mentoring program in Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) beginning with the 2019-20 academic year. The program helps high school students stay on-track for graduation and prepare for their future.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is thrilled to add the Graduation Coaches program to our organization,” said BBBS CEO Michael Goar. “The program will help more Twin Cities youth discover their career and college potential through the power of mentoring, skill building and planning. Special thanks to the AchieveMpls staff and volunteers for their dedication to the students of Minneapolis Public Schools. The BBBS team and I are excited to carry forward and build upon their vision for this program.”

– Michael Goar, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities

BBBS plans to partner with three to four MPS high schools and reach 120 students in its first year leading the Graduation Coaches program.

“We are very proud of Graduation Coaches and the life-changing impact it has had on over 1,500 students since we launched the program in 2012,” said Danielle Grant, AchieveMpls President and CEO. “We also believe that transitioning this program into the expert care of BBBS will better allow it to grow, become more innovative and serve even more students into the future. We are tremendously thankful to the hundreds of volunteer Graduation Coaches who have supported our students, as well as the leadership and staff of Minneapolis Public Schools who have partnered with this program over the past seven years.

As the largest and longest-running mentoring organization in our region, BBBS will utilize its capacity and expertise to take Graduation Coaches to the next level. Led by Goar—a former Graduation Coach himself—BBBS has provided mentoring and innovative programming for over a half-million Minnesota youth with a focus on helping them meet their social, emotional, career and college potential. BBBS was recently named a My Brother’s Keeper Alliance “Community to Watch” for its strong record of working to improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color.

Graduation Coaches was created by AchieveMpls under the leadership of former CEO Pam Costain to provide an additional layer of school-based mentoring for MPS students. Since then, hundreds of volunteer coaches have supported over 1,500 students in building academic confidence and study skills, developing healthy peer relationships, strengthening self-advocacy skills and developing plans for careers and postsecondary education.

This year’s Graduation Coaches program will continue uninterrupted through the end of the academic year under AchieveMpls, with teams from the two organizations working closely to ensure a seamless hand-off. The transition of the program to BBBS will be effective July 1.

For more information or to learn how to participate as a volunteer for the 2019-20 school year, visit the BBBS Graduation Coaches web page or contact Justin Fogel, BBBS Twin Cities Volunteer Manager, at

About Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities
Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities is a non-profit mentoring and youth development organization that began in 1920. Over the past century, BBBS Twin Cities has served over a half-million Minnesota youth by matching them with volunteer mentors and providing innovative programming options to meet the youth’s social, emotional, career and college potential. Today, BBBS Twin Cities is the nation’s fourth-largest Big Brothers Big Sisters agency and the largest of its kind in Minnesota. The organization serves Greater Twin Cities youth between the ages of 3 and 18+ in Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Dakota and Anoka Counties. Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities was recently named a My Brother’s Keeper Alliance “Community to Watch,” recognizing BBBS Twin Cities’ strong track record of working to improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color in the community. Learn more at

About AchieveMpls
As the strategic nonprofit partner of Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), AchieveMpls rallies community support to inspire and equip Minneapolis students for careers, college and life. Its vision is that all young people have full access to educational and career opportunities, resulting in a more equitable and vibrant Minneapolis. AchieveMpls directs Career & College Centers in 11 MPS high schools, trains and places nearly 1,600 Minneapolis youth in paid Step Up internships with 200 employers each year, engages hundreds of volunteers as Graduation Coaches and career exploration volunteers, raises support for MPS strategic priorities, and manages MPS school and department funds. Join AchieveMpls as a volunteer, employer, donor or partner at