Jack and Jill of America Inc., Minneapolis Chapter, will host its annual Rites of Passage Community Celebration March 9 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

The Rites of Passage is a prestigious leadership experience for Twin Cities area African-American male high school seniors based on the seven principles of Nguzu saba (African heritage).

The 2019 Rites of Passage will present and celebrate 10 college-bound African-American young men from the Minneapolis, St. Paul metro area. The 2019 Rites of Passage Initiates are Ahijah Adams (St.Paul Central High School), Julian Cavin (Maranatha Academy), Jacob Johnson (Champlin Park High School), Donovan Jones-Myers (Waconia High School), Kamau Kokayi-Taylor (Minnehaha Academy), Keemarr McKinney-VanBuren (Park Center High School), Jaden Morton (Maranatha Christian Academy), Hilton Patterson (Champlin Park), Alan Rosier (Coon Rapids High School), and Julian Wright (DeLaSalle High School).

Over the past six months the high school seniors have engaged in a curriculum of leadership development, personal brand building, entrepreneurship and financial management. They also participated in a community service event at Crises Nursery and served as ushers for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast. The curriculum is aided by area mentors who help guide and connect with the “initiates” through their passage. Leaders from United Health Group, University of Minnesota, Ecolab, Medtronic, US Bank, Target, General Mills, BMO Harris and Upsie assisted in providing content, inspiration, insight and networking opportunities.

Initiates will be officially presented to the community and pass into manhood with the assistance of community elders, mentors, program officials and well-wishers during the March 9 event. Part of the fundraising proceeds will go towards a charity chosen by the initiates.

The Rites of Passage is in its 21st year and has impacted more than 300 young African-American men.

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