For nearly 20 years, the Minnesota Alliance With Youth has helped students cultivate skills needed to succeed in school, work and life.

Now, the group is playing a key role in a Woodbury High student’s involvement with state politics, and the Stillwater Area Public Schools’ search for five AmeriCorps fellows to work next year with struggling junior high and high school students.

On March 13, the alliance co-sponsored the 2015 Youth Day at the State Capitol, and among the participants was Woodbury High junior Zachary Correia.

Correia is on the policy committee of the 34-member Minnesota Youth Council, which includes representatives from each of the state’s eight Congressional districts. The council is asked to share youth perspectives with legislators, and on March 13, the subjects included youth homelessness and after-school funding.

“We are here to provide a voice that is not normally heard,” Correia was quoted in a news release as saying, “and without a doubt I know that we will be able to bring it.”

At Woodbury High, Correia is a violinist and a member of the debate team.

Aonat Popoola, a senior at Stillwater Area High, also is a council member serving on its philanthropy committee.

The search for AmeriCorps fellows marks the fourth year that the Stillwater school district has worked with the Minnesota Alliance With Youth to connect students with adults dedicated to helping them achieve academic success, a district news release said.

The district now is accepting résumés for people to work with students at Stillwater Area High and Oak-Land and Stillwater junior highs between Sept. 1 and July 31, 2016. Successful applicants would serve as AmeriCorps Promise Fellows and earn a monthly stipend of $1,139 plus health insurance, a student loan deferment and a $5,730 education award upon completion of service, the district said. AmeriCorps is a national service program that has attracted many recent college graduates.

To apply, e-mail a résumé to Eric Anderson, Coordinator, Stillwater Area Public Schools, Office of Equity and Integration, at Teams from each school will screen applicants and recommend candidates for final interviews with the Minnesota Alliance With Youth.

Forest Lake

High school senior excels in poetry meet

Bethany Blackmer, a senior at Forest Lake Area High, placed third in the state Poetry Out Loud finals at the Minneapolis Central Library on March 12.

She was among 12 students competing for a $200 scholarship and the right to represent Minnesota at the national finals in Washington, D.C., in April.

First place went to Cameron Patricia Downey of The Blake School.

To compete, students select poems from a database provided by the Poetry Out Loud organization. They then are judged on their recitation skills.

Woodbury High student Abdirahman Abdi also competed in the state finals, and finished in the top six, a Loft Literary Center news release said.


Students, adviser earn top BPA honors

Fourteen students in Tartan High’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) program earned top 10 finishes in state-conference competition this month.

Two students, Efemona Famati and Anh Vo, finished first in the interviewing skills and digital media production categories, respectively.

Vicki Kapaun, the school’s BPA adviser, was named state adviser of the year.

The BPA program at North High in North St. Paul also earned recognition as state chapter of the year. (There are 66 BPA chapters in Minnesota.)

The award is based in part on community activities. For North High students, that has meant tutoring at Richardson Elementary and raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District news release said.

Anthony Lonetree