Team and Family Spotlight - April 2019

April’s Team and Family spotlight features Sondra Samuels, president and CEO of Northside Achievement Zone.


At our recent annual fundraiser, KIPPtastic 2019, Sondra Samuels was awarded the 2019 Educational Champion Award, recognizing her for her incredible work in helping KIPP Minnesota advance our mission of confronting educational inequity both within our schools and throughout the North Minneapolis community.

Sondra, a North Minneapolis resident for over 20 years, is president and CEO of Northside Achievement Zone, a nonprofit organization and collaborative network of more than 40 organizations and schools in North Minneapolis, modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone. NAZ works with more than 1,000 North Minneapolis families with 2,300 children as they lift themselves out of multi-generational poverty, using education and whole family support as levers. Under Sondra’s leadership, NAZ was named a federal Promise Neighborhood, and has become a nationally recognized model for community and systems change.

Sondra has been with KIPP Minnesota throughout our entire journey, from the very beginning when she served as an early board member and on-the-street recruiter, to now when she generously shares NAZ resources with KIPP as we work to improve our community engagement and student outcomes. She once delivered a valedictory address at our 8th grade promotion ceremony – in rap!

Sondra Samuels is an educational champion for North Minneapolis and for KIPP Minnesota. She brings needed attention and resources to this part of our city, while also tapping and celebrating the amazing resources that already exist within the community and its residents.

Thank you, Sondra, for all your help to KIPP Minnesota to create quality school options in North Minneapolis, as well as for the zest and liveliness you bring to our school and community!

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