Friday, September 14, 2012

2012 Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Writers now available

The guidelines have been released for Intermedia Arts' 2012 Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Writers formerly the SASE Jerome Grants for Emerging Writers)

 The deadline is 6PM Friday, October 19, 2012

Applications are now available for Intermedia Arts' Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Minnesota writers. This is a fellowship program that awards grants of up to $4,000 to four to six emerging Minnesota writers each year. In addition to their grant award, recipients also participate in a 12-month fellowship program that provides community, guidance, workshops, and resources throughout the program year.

Intermedia Arts' Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Writers places a particular emphasis on increasing the visibility of and providing a platform for emerging writers whose voices have historically been underrepresented in the literary arts, including (but not limited to): writers of color, GLBT writers, women, new immigrants, native and Indigenous writers, low-income writers, and writers exploring non-traditional pathways to success. For more information you can go here:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Youth Advancement in the Lao Community

Thanks to generous support from General Mills, the Lao Assistance Center looks forward to an enhanced Youth Advancement program this year!

Among our goals:
1. Fifty Lao youth ages 12-18 will demonstrate increased knowledge of the career opportunities and post-secondary education options available to them.

2. 90% of our youth will articulate their aspirations for the future and complete a simple goal plan for their future education.

3. 75% of the 11th and 12th graders participating will select and apply to at least one post-secondary college, university, or other accredited institution which offers a program meeting their career interests.

We look forward to sharing the results of our program with you at the end of the year! If you'd like your youth to be involved, please contact our Family Outreach Coordinator, Chongchith Saengsudham at the Lao Assistance Center and she'll be happy to connect you to the program:

Lao Assistance Center Computer Literacy Program funded by Wells Fargo

The Lao Assistance Center program was recently funded by Wells Fargo, who provided $12,500 for the one-time purpose of purchasing and upgrading new equipment to help the organization carry out training and education programs to stabilize our community workforce.

Lao Assistance Center was interested in increasing the computer literacy and English comprehension and reading skills of the Lao community in Minnesota in concert with the mission of the Lao Assistance Center, ”to enhance the quality of life and increase self-reliance of Minnesota Lao families.”

We were also interested in placing unemployed Lao adults into jobs as rapidly as possible and to avert multigenerational cycles of poverty by promoting equitable engagement in labor and workforce development.

 LACF will use the funds provided to purchase computers and computer software programs as well as fund workshops and educational sessions related to employment, English comprehension and reading, and computer literacy development.

The goal of our proposal was to increase our capacity to provide online English language classes, job training and computer literacy training to unemployed or underemployed Lao adults by formalizing a computer training curriculum that includes an English skills (comprehension and reading) computer software program and continuing our job search training that include basic computer skills practicum.

We are implementing a four-pronged strategy that will significantly enhance access to computer literacy programs, English skills program and employment skills and job searching skills that are culturally specific to the Lao community. 

Our four key prongs are:

1. Develop a formal job readiness training curriculum that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.

2. Develop relationship with companies. High growth industry sectors are Healthcare, Finance/Insurance, Professional/Technical, Transportation and High-Tech Manufacturing.

3. Increase partnerships with organizations providing English language skills to Lao elders with limited English proficiency.

4. Leverage volunteers, including 2nd and 3rd generation Lao youth, to assist elders

Sunny Chanthanouvong, Executive Director of the Lao Assistance Center said: "We are very pleased to have this opportunity thanks to Wells Fargo. It is a deeply felt need in our community and these computers and this upgrade is a critical investment in our infrastructure to allow us to better serve our families, neighbors and country."

Wells Fargo believes that grant-making decisions are more effective when made locally. To implement this philosophy Wells Fargo is actively involved in the communities where they live and work, and their team members are often leaders in helping communities succeed. Wells Fargo primarily focuses on programs that support employment and economic development for low-income families or low-income households, particularly programs that address employment issues for single-parent heads of households, people of color and the working poor.

The Lao Assistance Center will be making additional announcements regarding the program and training dates shortly. Phouthakannha Nantharath is anticipated as the lead director of the Computer Literacy Program along with Chongchith Saengsudham, the Lao Assistance Center Adult Services Coordinator. For further information call the Lao Assistance Center at: (612) 374-4967 or