MYA Logo PNGFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  June 23, 2015

MYA Contact: Dora Jones, Executive Director (651) 222-7721

CURA Contact: Jeff Corn, Community Program Director (612) 625-0744

CEMBA Contact: Julie Kesterke, Assistant Director (612) 625-0027

UofM Carlson School of Management Executive MBA Candidate Selected To Conduct An Impact Study On Social Services Organization, Mentoring Young Adults, Supported by Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA)

Minneapolis, MN (June 23, 2015) – Monique Linder, a Carlson School of Management Executive MBA Candidate has been selected to do an impact study for Saint Paul community nonprofit organization Mentoring Young Adults (MYA). Her project is funded as a part of the Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Project at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs.

Mentoring Young Adults (MYA) is a 501(c)3 crisis-management services organization providing social service programs for the most vulnerable populations of youth and families in Ramsey, Dakota, Washington and Hennepin Counties. MYA’s mission is to reduce youth of color homelessness by decreasing high-school dropout rates, unemployment and the disproportionate rate of youth of color involved in the criminal justice system.

MYA layers in educational programs such as gender-specific group mentoring, housing training and one- on-one mentoring to address the lack of competitive skills essential to sustaining a positive, healthy and productive lifestyle, beyond the crisis at hand.

MYA’s value to the community is substantiated by growth in the number of cases it handles since it opened its doors nine years ago in a tiny office located in St. Paul, MN, a stone’s throw away from the State Capitol. In addition, MYA’s track record of success in locating housing and job placement for over 300 cases processed in 2014 is astounding when compared to the amount of donations and grants received. You get a feeling that something special is happening when you walk through the door. MYA has a unique model that is based on trust, love and education says Dora Jones, MYA’s Executive Director and Founder. Dora continued that “she has walked in the shoes of her clients and they deserve to be treated with respect, no matter how dire their situation may be.”

MYA accepts walk-in clients who may feel hopeless and depressed with nowhere else to go. Executive Director Dora Jones is there everyday to get clients processed quickly to get them the help they need, with a sense of urgency. As Dora explains, “There’s no long, drawn out bureaucratic process at MYA…it is grit, hard work and lots of prayer that wills the MYA team to fight for those who are at the lowest in society.”

Monique Linder, a second year Carlson School of Management Executive MBA candidate, was excited and honored to lead the CURA Nelson project to conduct the impact study on Mentoring Young Adults. Monique expressed a high altitude view of MYA’s data thus far, “While it is early in the study, I can say that the cases MYA handles are the hardest to solve…so hard that other agencies refer cases to MYA because of their high success rate in obtaining housing and financial help, when others could not. My job will be to gather, measure, model and analyze MYA’s data to build an impact study that supports their growth initiatives that include an ability to increase capacity. The early data shows how vitally necessary the agency is to the communities it serves.”

Monique Linder is also the Founder of media technology company, OMG Media Solutions, Past- President of the Minnesota Alliance for Women in Media and past media sales director for iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) and CBS Radio.

The Mentoring Young Adults study is supported by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program. The findings will be published in early August 2015 and will be available at

Correction: MYA opened its doors nine years ago, not eight as previously noted.


About Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
The CURA connects the resources of the University of Minnesota with the interests and needs of urban communities and the region for the benefit of all. The Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program, named in honor of its founding director, builds partnerships between community-based organizations and suburban government agencies and local colleges and universities. The research and technical needs of organizations are matched with student research assistants to carry out community-defined and guided projects. The Nelson Program provides approximately 200 hours of student time to work on a project in the spring and fall semesters, or 260 hours during the summer.

We are Carlson School of Management share a commitment to imagination, engagement, and ambition. Based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, housed in the University of Minnesota, the Carlson School is a leader in business education and research. Our approach connects students to unique experiential learning opportunities, dynamic international education programs, and to a vibrant network of businesses throughout the state and beyond.