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Moved by a Youth Frontiers Retreat, an educator hugs a colleague

Educator reveals Youth Frontiers’ long-term impact

Our retreats help inspire students to act with character and build community within schools. We can say this with confidence because we see it every day — kids apologizing to those they’ve left out or persistently teased, friends thanking friends for their steadfast support, students connecting with classmates they’ve never interacted with, and shy kids speaking from their hearts in front of everyone. What we don’t often see is how these students remember their retreats 10 or 15 years later. A few months ago, we did.READ MORE

Students leave behind their comfort zones to build community on a Youth Frontiers Courage Retreat.

Comfort zones can keep us from building community

Courage is curious. It looks different to each of us, and we require its company often and sometimes unexpectedly. We wish it would just come to us whenever we call it. It doesn’t. Instead, we find it waiting for us in an inconvenient place — right outside of our comfort zones.READ MORE


Smartphones — It’s time to put them down.

Youth Frontiers builds community and connection with young people. We inspire and help kids see the importance of critical values like respect and kindness.

Two things that I am increasingly concerned about that counter our efforts are the unrestrained use of smartphones and the prolific use of social media.READ MORE

Tim Welsh on stage asks us to go beyond Minnesota Nice

More than Minnesota Nice

By Tim Welsh, Vice Chairman of Consumer Banking Sales and Support for U.S. Bank

The following content is adapted from Tim’s keynote at Youth Frontiers’ 2017 Ethical Leadership Luncheon.

Let me start by thanking all of you for being here today to discuss ethical leadership and to support the amazing work of Youth Frontiers. It is a very busy time of year, and I know that all of you have many demands on your time. I suspect some of you were like me when you looked at your calendar this morning. You had more work to do then you had realized, and you asked yourself if you could really spare the time to go off to a luncheon. I am very grateful that you chose to focus on such an important topic and to help an organization that has touched the lives of literally millions of young people in this community and around the Midwest, including my own kids. READ MORE

A shelf grid of many Russian nesting dolls

Show Students Who They Could Become by Accepting Their Full Selves

By Justin Minkel

My mom is a play therapist and a miracle worker. Her secret power sounds simple: She absolutely accepts children as they are. Not as their teachers, classmates or parents wish they would be. As they actually are — in all their turbulent, disruptive, exasperating glory.

The children she works with throw rocks, scream in class and bite the other kids. When they throw rocks at her, she says, “You are really strong to be able to throw those rocks so far!” When they scream as loud as they can, she says, “That’s amazing that you can get out all your anger like that. I wish I could do that!”


Erica shares her North Stars of parenting

My North Stars of Parenting

In my not quite three-year-old parenting arsenal, I have little experience but a lot of passed down wisdom and principles that have deeply resonated with or challenged me. Let’s call them my North Stars — what I aim for no matter how often I fall short. I take comfort in knowing they will be as fixed, forgiving and guiding tomorrow when I try again.


Nominate a high school junior or senior for the 2024 Minnesota Character Award for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship!