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Continued: A zone for success: Bold effort promises a reversal of fortune for troubled families.

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 20, 2014 - 10:04 PM

But even as NAZ gears up for its full 1,000-family enrollment by the end of 2015, it faces challenges. One is racial balance. NAZ noted in its federal application that residents of its zone are 47 percent black, 20 percent white, 18 percent Asian 8 percent Latino, and 7 percent other. But 90 percent of the households enrolled in NAZ are black families. “Typically it’s the African-American families that are suffering the most,” said Michelle Martin, NAZ chief operating officer.

Another challenge is money. A program that promises long-term help for parents to get their newborns to college needs a long-term commitment of money.

NAZ is seeking $1.1 million in state funding this legislative session, but CEO Sondra Samuels estimates the program will need $8 million annually from all sources to maintain full enrollment after the ­federal money is gone.

But success depends in part on convincing funders that NAZ is producing transformative results both for families and an entire community at a scale beyond what it can show to date.

The trick is that for children like Ahzaneia, NAZ defines success as getting kids to college. She would be in the high school graduating class of 2026 — a long time to wait for results.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438





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  • Jayden Myles is a navigator which is like a mentor who works with students in the NAZ program. He works with these young scholars one on one focusing on strengths and weaknesses of students while building esteem and improving academic outcomes. He was working on math skills with Ahzaneia Cook during an after school program ] Nellie Stone Johnson Community School is in the Northside Achievement Zone. Richard.Sennott@startribune.com Richard Sennott/Star Tribune Minneapolis , Minn.Wednesday 3/26/2014) ** (cq)

  • Jayden Myles is a navigator which is like a mentor who works with students in the NAZ program. He works with these young scholars one on one focusing on strengths and weaknesses of students while building esteem and improving academic outcomes. He was working on math skills with Rayshawn Kidd during an after school program ] Nellie Stone Johnson Community School is in the Northside Achievement Zone. Richard.Sennott@startribune.com Richard Sennott/Star Tribune Minneapolis , Minn.Wednesday 3/26/2014) ** (cq)

  • Jayden Myles is a navigator which is like a mentor who works with students in the NAZ program. He works with these young scholars one on one focusing on strengths and weaknesses of students while building esteem and improving academic outcomes. He was working on math skills with Ahzaneia Cook during an after school program ] Nellie Stone Johnson Community School is in the Northside Achievement Zone. Richard.Sennott@startribune.com Richard Sennott/Star Tribune Minneapolis , Minn.Wednesday 3/26/2014) ** (cq)

  • Jayden Myles helped pupils with a creative math project. The achievement zone, focusing on 234 blocks in north Minneapolis, tries to help families avoid eviction and get their kids to college. The program is aiming for a full enrollment of 1,000 families by the end of 2015.

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