Sister M. Giovanni founded Guadalupe Alternative Programs in 1967, which was called Guadalupe Area Projects at that time, with the help of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) the Catholic Order of Sisters to which she belonged. Concerned about the number of high school dropouts in the neighborhood, the sisters purchased a house to serve as a school for high school-aged young persons near Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on St. Paul's west side.
Three years later more than 50 young people were attending the sisters' alternative school and a nine-room building had been added to their house. In 1989 construction of a four-story school building was completed and GAP's enrollment doubled. Adult literacy classes and other programs were expanded. In 1995, a gymnasium, classrooms to accommodate a junior high school program, computer lab, industrial arts and daycare were added with enrollment peaking at 150 students in 2005. In 2003, another expansion was completed to increase GAP's educational capacity and create space for mental health services.
Today a talented and dedicated staff of over 30 professional culturally competent teachers, therapists, enrichment specialists and administrators positively influence the lives of hundreds of young people and adults living in the Twin Cities and carry on the mission of GAP's founder.
vision, values and community :
Guadalupe Alternative Programs is a community based education and social service agency that serves the Twin Cities area. It is located on St. Paul's west side. GAP is inspired by its founder Sr. Mary Giovanni Gourhan SSND, and her dream of eliminating the barriers of poverty and racism faced by many who live in the inner city.
Three basic yet powerful strategies define the community building work of GAP:
1. education and enrichment
Developmental Day Care • Senior High School • GED Preparation
• Adult Basic Education • Extended-Day/Extended-Year Program • Bilingual Sr High Program
Education and enrichment programs at GAP are student-centered and accessible. Programs are accredited and teachers are licensed professionals. Curriculum is rigorous and relevant and focused on growth and life-long learning.
2. social and emotional support
Cultural Healing Traditions • School-based Mental Health • Intensive In-Home Therapy • Diversion/After-Care Programs• Conflict Mediation
Social and emotional support efforts are offered in-school, in-home and in-community. Programs are contracted and clinicians are traditional cultural healers and licensed mental health professionals and mental health practitioners. Interventions are strength-based and solution-focused.
3. training leading to employment
YouthBuild • Entrepreneurism • Affordable Housing • Y.A.L.E.
Youth employment and training services available to GAP high school and GED students are designed to prepare youth and young adults to enter a career pathway leading to a livable wage and self-sufficiency. GAP's YouthBuild program inspires small-business creation and an increase in affordable housing.
These values are the foundation of GAP's approach to community-building:
GAP provides a compassionate, respectful and nurturing educational environment that inspires young people to lead productive and successful lives. GAP has demonstrated consistently that its programming, based on relationship and trust, is successful over time. Small class size and attention to cultural uniqueness are primary considerations as teachers nurture the educational and leadership potential of their students.
GAP welcomes persons of all races, creeds, ages, genders, sexual orientations and national origins and is prepared to serve persons with disabilities.
The ethnic composition of the West Side neighborhood served by Guadalupe Alternative Programs include Chicano/Latinos, African Americans, Hmong, Cambodian and Somali Native American and Caucasian families among others.
GAP celebrates the positive and distinctive characteristics of such a diverse community and participates in various cultural ceremonies and traditions. GAP also acknowledges that some characteristics of our community summon our concern. These constants have been observed in populations served by GAP:
These characteristics of GAP's students and their families drive our commitment to be part of community building in the inner city.
GAP is contracted with St. Paul Public Schools to provide education for high-risk youth, and with Ramsey and Hennepin Counties to provide Children¹s Therapeutic Support Services. GAP contracts with the Minneapolis Public Schools and Hennepin County to provide school-based mental health services at Edison High School, and a contract with the State of Minnesota to provide YouthBuild services.
Boys Totem Town
Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local Union No.1 Minnesota & North Dakota
Minnesota Literacy Counsel
Neighborhood Learning Community
Juvenile and Family Justice Center (JFJC)
Resources for Child Caring (RCC)
Riverview Economic Development Association (REDA)
Sojourner Truth Academy
Saint Paul Community Literacy Consortium (SPCLC)
The Youth Farm and Market Projects
Westside Boys and Girls Club
West Side Citizen's Organization
West Side Community Organization
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.To file a complaint of discrimination, write to:
USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue,
S.W. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795.3272 or (202) 720.6382(TTY).
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
|GAP Founder Sister M. Giovanni SSND|