A Community Investment in Equitable Pathways

RISE for Youth is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Mayo Clinic and the Rochester branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) designed to help Black and underrepresented students transform themselves from youth with potential to competitive and empowered talent entering the workforce. The program aims to create new pathways for success by providing students with critical educational and leadership skills, training and long-term mentoring for successful careers in health care, science and beyond.

Why RISE for Youth is needed

All young people have potential, but not all of them – particularly Black and other underrepresented students – have the opportunity to realize it.

According to the State of Minnesota Employment and Economic Development report, there is a huge employment gap between white college graduates and minorities such as Black/African Americans, Hispanic and American Indians. This lack of equity, diversity and inclusion in education and employment harms us all – depriving organizations and communities of the unrealized potential of future leaders and changemakers.

RISE for Youth seeks to bridge that gap, empowering generations of competitive talent whose diversity of ideas and perspectives will make our businesses, communities and futures more successful.

RISE for Youth Program

Through comprehensive curriculum development, participants will experience a range of topics:

Leadership Development
Strengths Finder
Servant Leadership
Emotional intelligence
Healthy Cooking Class
Giving back to your community
Career Exploration
Resume writing and interview success
Tour various healthcare, business, and community careers
Mentoring for success

Learn more about the RISE for Youth Program in this video:

Join us for several virtual events during our EMPOWER Month campaign to learn more information about racial disparities, pathways to equity and RISE for Youth.

RISING above racial disparities and barriers to opportunity

Many Black and underrepresented students face barriers to accessing the very programs that can help them achieve their dreams. RISE for Youth gives them a fair shot, with access to transportation, school supplies and equipment, and stipends to cover the cost of not working so they can more fully participate.

Application Process

The RISE for Youth Program welcome applicants from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in medicine and biomedical sciences including African American, Hispanic, Native American/American Indian and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students. Additionally, students who have demonstrated an interest in supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in education, health care or another related area are eligible to participate.

The application process will be starting January 1. Click here for application details.

Selection of students in the program will be done by representatives from the NAACP, Barbershop Talk, the Diversity Council, the Somali community, educators and other community partners.

This is just the beginning.

As participants complete the program, they, in turn, will become the leaders and changemakers who will work to further reduce racial disparities and break down barriers for those that follow, creating a cycle of progress with the ultimate goal of creating equal, and sustainable, opportunities for all.

And as positive change takes shape, Mayo Clinic and the NAACP hope to expand this program to an enterprise and national level.

It may also inspire other community organizations to engage in similar programs to improve diversity in education and employment.


Mayo Clinic and the Rochester branch of the NAACP welcome opportunities to collaborate with businesses and community organizations dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.

Visit the NAACP website and RISE for Youth website to learn more about becoming a mentor or community partner. Email us at RISEforYouth@mayo.edu to be added to our mailing list.