DinoMights, Hockey in the Hood!
Thanks for visiting on Give to the Max Day! Here's what your giving can support:
• Giving will support Homegrown Leadership, by providing jobs for DinoMights alumni to work on the program staff! That includes supporting our High School Summer Staff.
• 10% of Give to the Max Day will support the purchase of various new equipment items.
• 100% of Give to the Max Day supports an awesome program that is making a real difference. Read below to learn more!
MISSION The mission of DinoMights is "to equip our urban youth to develop physical, academic, social, and spiritual excellence."
The impact of DinoMights is best described in the students' own words. Alumnus, Xavier, a Junior at Hamline University, sums up the program’s impact on his life this way, “I used to be one of the ‘baddest’ kids when I started this program . . . But that [DinoMights] taught me how to change my attitude and become a better person.” Many Minneapolis adolescents, like Xavier, have been touched by this innovative approach.
The four components of the DinoMight mission statement make the acronym PASS.
"I don't really play outside enough in the winter unless I play hockey." Many of the current DinoMight hockey players never imagined playing outside on frozen ponds in the Minnesota winter. In fact, some who had recently moved from Mexico, had never even seen snow! Hockey is a great way for urban youth to be equipped to develop physical excellence. About 40 DinoMights have gone on to play high school hockey, including this year's senior captain at Minnehaha Academy! More importantly, students build self-confidence. One seven year old girl explained the impact of hockey this way, "I feel proud, because people tell me I do good."
Part of the original vision for DinoMights was to walk alongside students from early elementary all the way to high school graduation. DinoMights participants are reaching graduation age, and graduating! The graduation rate of Dino participants is 85% compared to 44% for Minneapolis public schools (One Minneapolis Report, Minneapols Foundation 2011). In fact, in 2011 and 2012, 100% of DinoMights participants reaching graduation age successfully completed High School. DinoMights are equipped to develop academic excellence mainly through academic tutoring. In addition, participants have opportunities to learn web design and technology. Tutors serve as mentors as well as providing academic help. Most students show at least one full year of progress.
One of the most common things that the students say about DinoMights is that it helped them make friends. What is really incredible is that they make friends across ethnic and economic boundaries that usually keep people from being friends. Urban youth are equipped to develop social excellence through relationship building and service projects. The team environment provides mentor relationships with coaches, and a positive place to learn how to interact with peers in a diverse setting. Each spring DinoMights serve their community by teaching First Graders at Richard Green Elementary School and Andersen School how to skate in the Learn 2 Skate program. One DinoMight put it this way, "I have made a lot of friends on the DinoMight team and it has helped me motivate others like when we taught those kids to skate."
In response to the question, "What do you value most about being a DinoMight," Students respond with answers like, "I value, my friends, coaches, God," or, "always having fun and growing closer to God." One student said this, "That we beat the stereotype that all hockey players are white and that we do it through Jesus Christ." No student is forced into spiritual activities, however many will say that getting to know Jesus is the most important thing about being a DinoMight. DinoMights uses a unique approach that is founded on mentoring relationships. Staff, coaches, and tutors all seek to share the love of God with DinoMights by actively loving them. Our main spiritual program in the option to attend summer camp. Good News to urban youth is the opportunity to participate in a positive activity that can truly be a family for them. It is in this environment that they can come to know the great love of God.