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    • Student studying

      Century College is excited to help develop the first Opportunity Community in Minnesota.  The Opportunity Community model is a national movement to create the communities we all want to live in by increasing prosperity for people living in poverty.

    An Opportunity Community uses a comprehensive approach, building on the existing strengths of people to make a difference for their region by:

    • Serving people from different types of poverty: generational, working class, situational, and immigrant.
    • Providing structure for a better-connected community resulting in a more effective and efficient poverty-fighting system.
    • Providing community-wide education to raise awareness and understanding about the real causes of poverty.
    • Providing training for volunteers to serve as Navigators, Specialty Navigators, and Super Navigators, supporting Century students working toward a more prosperous future. 
    • Increasing engagement of sectors of the community not previously involved in fighting poverty.
    • Helping professionals who serve people in poverty.
    • 2017 graduates

      Century College, in collaboration  with Communication Across Barriers, is building an Opportunity Community. Our goal is to increase access, retention, completion and graduation rates for students who live in poverty and historically marginalized populations.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    The Opportunity Community is designed to better support students who face barriers presented by poverty. Our volunteers are vital in this process. Below are descriptions of some volunteer opportunities for community members, faculty, and staff to play a role in providing students the supportive connections needed to succeed and assist in removing poverty barriers to postsecondary education. Opportunities include:


    Anyone can be a Navigator. Navigators are people who agree to become trained (through the Opportunity Community model) to understand different experiences of poverty, to learn the structural causes of poverty, and to gain communication and relationship building skills. Navigators commit to sharing their contact information and to using their networks to assist their Neighbor to access resources and support for moving out and staying out of poverty.

    Specialty Navigators

    Specialty Navigators are members of the community who work in organizations that provide resources or opportunities (colleges, hospitals, housing, courts, etc). Specialty Navigators agree to take and return calls from Navigators and to assist them in understanding how to navigate their system.

    Super Navigators

    Super Navigators are people who have experienced poverty, but have made strides to move out. Super Navigators offer support to Navigators who struggle to connect with their Neighbors in poverty.

    Planning Teams

    Our planning teams consist of college and community members who volunteer their time to help complete the work that is needed to have a successful program and events. Our planning teams include:

    • Finance/Donations
      Help raise funds/solicit donations for the student participants.
    • Coordinating Specialty Navigators
      Recruit and maintain a list of volunteers.
    • Coordinating Navigators
      Recruit, train and maintain communication with volunteers.
    • Publicity/Marketing/Media Coverage
      Communicate about the program with stakeholders.
    • Student Connection
      Recruitment, logistics, registration, and transportation.
    • Kids Opportunity Day
      Coordinate program for children of student participants during the Student Opportunity Conference Education Program.
    • Resources and Opportunities Fair
      Coordinate organizations and agencies to participate in the fair that students can visit during lunch and after Student Opportunity Conference Education Program.


    Donations for this program are welcomed and all donations 100% benefit students. Complete any donations through the Century College Foundation button below:

    Student & Community Involvement

    Contact Michele Jersak, Counselor  (651-779-3221) to learn how to become involved!