Academic Support Programs

Academic Support Programs
Our academic support programs work to ensure that all young people who walk through Pillsbury United Communities doors are prepared for success.

be @school

A partnership with Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and the Minneapolis Public Schools, be @school advocates work with families to prevent truancy.

FANS Scholars Program

FANS Scholars program is a free college, career and life preparatory program for high school students in 9th-12th grade. This program provides students with a support system and activities to strengthen high school performance and to achieve success after graduation in college and career. The FANS scholar’s program offerings are varied and include workshops and seminars, introduction to career options, college tours, leadership development, civic engagement and ACT/SAT test preparation. In addition students receive academic support, mentorship and assistance with the college enrollment process.  Students that successfully complete the FANS Scholars program are eligible to receive a small scholarship to assist with college expenses and their FANS Advocate support them through college graduation. Since its inception in 1988, FANS Scholars have received over $1,000,000 in scholarships.

For more information contact the Pillsbury United Communities Neighborhood Center in your area: Waite House (612-721-1681) or Brian Coyle Center (612-338-5282).

FANS graduates may access the scholarship request form below.

Kids College

Kids College is a literacy program that focuses on vocabulary expansion, fluency, comprehension and developing love of reading.  This focused program offers one-on-one reading time with an adult for at least 30 minutes each day. In addition, youth receive homework help and a healthy snack. Tutoring is offered through a partnership with America Reads.

For more information, contact: Pillsbury House + Theatre (612-824-0708).

Power of our Voices

Power of our Voices (POV) is a literacy and leadership development program that creates space and freedom for young people to find, develop and bring voice to issues of importance in their lives.  The POV program believes in the power of art – especially spoken word to be a catalyst in developing leadership skills, improving confidence, acquiring vocational strategies and improving academic performance.  POV performance ensemble places youth voice at the center, fully integrating intellectual, social, emotional and cultural elements into its approach.

For more information about Power of Our Voices, visit or contact

Chicago Avenue Project

Since 1996, the Chicago Avenue Project has been bringing together the Twin Cities best adult playwrights, actors, and directors to work one-on-one with neighborhood youth on the creation and production of an original play. Children develop close mentoring relationships with at least four adults who are successful in their creative fields, while adult professional artists share the chance to perform in wildly imaginative plays. The project is not about teaching youth to perform, though they do learn acting—nor is it about teaching them how to write plays, though they learn that as well. This program is about building confidence, developing literacy skills and most importantly - The Chicago Avenue Project gives every child—no matter their circumstances—the opportunity to discover that they are valuable and can contribute.

The Chicago Avenue Project is lead by Emily Zimmer, CAP Director and professional actor.

For more information about the Chicago Avenue Project, visit or contact Emily Zimmer at 612-787-3624.