• Mayo Clinic, NAACP to welcome inaugural RISE for Youth cohort on June 6

three young adults sitting on stairs looking at a laptop together

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic and NAACP Rochester Branch will welcome 40 promising high school and college students to RISE for Youth, on Monday, June 6. This program, which is in its inaugural year, is designed to help Black and underrepresented students find pathways to success in education and employment. RISE stands for Reflect, Inspire, Strengthen and Empower, and is an approach developed by Anjali Bhagra, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic's Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

"We are excited to get to know our first cohort of scholars," says Wale Elegbede, president of NAACP Rochester Branch. "They are a group with incredible potential."

The RISE for Youth program will provide participants with knowledge and experiences to remove barriers to equity in education and employment. It features a professionally designed curriculum, as well as mentorships and partnerships with area businesses.

"We're incredibly excited about the program we've developed for our scholars," says Dr. Bhagra. "We have created a pathway that will help remove barriers to equity that many of our participants face."

The June 6 kickoff event will feature remarks from Elegbede and Dr. Bhagra, as well as from public and private leaders.

Over the next four weeks, participants will:

  • Learn about various topics, including public speaking, entrepreneurship and leadership development.
  • Learn about job opportunities at Mayo Clinic.
  • Tour area businesses.

They also will be matched with a mentor.

"This program is a step toward leveling the playing field for Black and underrepresented students," says Elegbede. "We believe this kind of investment will have great returns in the lives of our scholars."

The RISE for Youth kickoff event will take place on June 6 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel — Rochester Mayo Clinic Area in downtown Rochester. Elegbede, Dr. Bhagra, area leaders and RISE for Youth scholars will be available for interviews.

Media should RSVP to attend the event by contacting:


About NAACP 
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP is the largest and most preeminent civil rights organization in the nation. It has over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2 million activists. Its mission is to secure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all people. The Rochester Branch of the NAACP continues to fight for social justice for all people. Its vision is to ensure a society where all people have equal rights, and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination, through equity and social justice. 

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news.

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