Sondra Samuels

Northside Achievement Zone

The Northside Achievement Zone is focused on closing the educational achievement gap in north Minneapolis. NAZ’s strategy connects organizations with schools to work with families to provide an “ecosystem” of support for children to do better in school and ultimately graduate from high school ready to go to college. Samuels has drawn national attention for her leadership and the program’s payoffs. Analysis by Wilder Research shows increases in kindergarten readiness and reading proficiency. NAZ’s work is resonating and continues to draw strong support. In 2015 the Target Foundation and General Mills Foundation each pledged $3 million to NAZ over the next three years, a strong endorsement.