Photo of two youth sledding at an ESNS OST program. The one in front is giving two peace signs to the camera.

 The Youth Department at East Side Neighborhood Services is proud to partner with the United Way, Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Minnesota Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to provide high quality out-of-school time programming at seven locations. 

We offer programs for Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis youth at numerous sites in area schools, park buildings, and community centers. Every year, the Youth Department serves over 400 young people, each of whom receives academic support, arts enrichment, leadership development, and much more.

Our programs are directed by trained staff and volunteers in small-group format designed to build character and leadership and to empower youth as valuable, active community members. These programs offer ongoing relationships with a diverse group of positive adult role models, teach interpersonal and communication skills, and provide educational support and truancy prevention through intergenerational and multicultural activities.

Youth Department Goals

  1. To provide a safe, welcoming environment for youth during Out-of-School Time that supports academic achievement, creativity, and social and emotional development.

  2. To ensure educational equity for all youth by providing quality, small-group work that focuses on individual learning needs, differentiated teaching instruction, and choice.

  3. To engage youth in intentional activities that develop leadership skills, respect, and understanding for others and to form a stronger sense of community by working together.

  4. To provide an environment where youth learn appropriate communication skills and develop an increased ability to problem solve.

If you would like more information about our programs, please contact Caryn Olsen at 612-787-4034 or