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Thrivent Invests in College Students, Medical Professionals

Kashun, Medical Career Advancement client

In May 2018, the International Institute of Minnesota began a partnership with Thrivent to change the odds for people struggling to advance economically within our communities. The partnership does this by expanding available capacity in College Readiness Academy and Medical Career Advancement programs. More than two years later, the success stories of Institute clients demonstrate the remarkable impact of Thrivent’s contribution.

For the Medical Career Advancement program, this new investment doubled the number of nursing students enrolled, resulting in advanced credentials and higher wages in advanced employment. For College Readiness Academy, the Institute’s primary focus was to increase the availability of its college program, resulting in improved college retention and graduation outcomes for nontraditional adult English language learners.

These programs serve New American working adults who may otherwise struggle to advance in higher education and the labor market. More than 90% are people of color. While College Readiness Academy works intensively with college-bound students who would otherwise be tracked into remedial classes, Medical Career Advancement provides additional services to ensure college success with advising, tuition assistance, academic support and employment navigation. 

With Thrivent’s investment, we doubled annual outcomes for both programs, resulting in 125 new college graduates in two years

This successful partnership challenged us to expand the previous limits of the Medical Careers Pathway. New Americans who are often excluded from educational and economic opportunities now have a new path to college graduation and career advancement. 

Brooke Anttila, Medical Career Advancement Manager, reflects, “Never before have we supported so many high achieving immigrant nurses of color. Before our eyes, our clients are developing into nurse leaders and this outcome will increase equity in the nursing profession.”

Kasahun, one client who benefited from this investment, is now a psychiatric nurse and hopes to earn a master’s in nursing as his next achievement. He wrote to Institute staff after graduating, “I look forward to using my skills to help those in need of my help in the community and the state in which I live through caring for the sick, advocating for the poor, being a voice for the voiceless and helping my fellow citizens to achieve their educational dream. Because of your generosity, my heavy financial burden has been lightened.”

Thanks to Thrivent’s investment, New Americans in Minnesota are facing fewer barriers as they strive to develop and share their extraordinary talents with their communities. Because of this support, Minnesota neighborhoods are growing stronger. Thank you for recognizing the value of these programs for our state.