AIOIC President Publishes National Paper


Minneapolis, Minn., Nov. 16., 2017– President & CEO of the American Indian OIC, Joe Hobot, Ed.D., will publish his nation-wide report on closing the achievement gap, featuring AIOIC’s alternative high school, Takoda Prep, as well as six other highly successful community-governed alternative schools in the United States.

The report, entitled, Resurgence: Restructuring Urban American Indian Education is in partnership with the National Urban Indian Family Coalition and sponsored by the Schott Foundation for Public Education. Dr. Hobot reports on the perpetual disparities present within academic achievement data and the necessary steps needed to rectify them. Commonly referred to as “the achievement gap”, educators and administrators have worked with policy officials and the philanthropic community to rectify this generations-old problem. Yet to date, the achievement gap still persists. For urban American Indian students, the data is the most bleak.

Among the six urban American Indian population hubs examined, the alternative high schools had significantly higher graduation rates than their public school counterparts. Here in Minneapolis, the district-wide graduation rate for American Indians hovers at 45%; however, Takoda Prep students graduate at a rate of 90% every year.

Resurgence: Restructuring Urban American Indian Education is published in both an executive summary and book format. Resurgence highlights seven incredible alternative, “indigenized” schools within six different urban locations, the findings of which point to a new path forward not only for urban American Indian Education, but for culturally-contextualized education everywhere.

Resurgence offers a holistic understanding toward why the American Indian achievement gap persists, examining historical educational trauma and educational reform that ignores the cultural context of marginalized communities such as American Indians. The report examines seven successful community-governed alternative schools and offers five key recommendations for scaling the success of these schools to the larger indigenous education system.

While the release of a report of this scope is a step in the right direction, Dr. Hobot insists it must be met with further discussion, stating “the strategies and insights provided through this work represent a legitimate pathway forward for what public education could be throughout Indian Country. In that respect, it is certainly worth evaluation and further discussion by those involved in this arena.”

Click here to access the Executive Summary of Resurgence. Dr. Joe Hobot will be a guest speaker to discuss the report in a webinar entitled, Expanding Opportunities to Learn for Native Youth on Thursday, November 16 at 2 PM, EDT. Dr. Hobot will also present the report findings during an AIOIC community event on Wednesday, November 29 at 1 PM at 1845 East Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Ivy Estenson at 612-341-3358 ext. 125 or email at


Dream Big Event

November 29th, 2017
11:30 AM -3:30 PM
1845 East Franklin Ave, 55404

Join the American Indian OIC and the State of Minnesota for an afternoon of career exploration and cultural engagement. This event will function as a multifaceted community gathering with business owners and state employees facilitating a Q & A panel, and AIOIC Pres. Joe Hobot leading a discussion on culturally contextualized education.

Come enjoy arts and crafts. Participate in our discussion rooms. Get career related guidance in our workforce development rooms.

-MN State Employee “Ask Me Anything” Q & A
-Discussion led by AIOIC Pres. Dr. Joe Hobot
-Lunch provided by Gatherings Café
-Door prizes
-Ojibwe Bingo
-Workshop: Optimizing Your Social Media for Employment
-Learn about career training programs
-Tour of building

[bscolumns class=”one_half”]Community Members

 Everyone has their own definition of success: finish school; find a career; support a family. To attain success, you need to envision a pathway to reach your goals and take steps to achieve them.

Get started by visiting AIOIC to learn about the simple and effective ways you can begin to achieve your goals.

Learn about our no-cost and low-cost programs, talk with state employees and get career guidance. [/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”one_half_last_clear”]Community Leaders and Organizations

Engage with the Native community and learn about how to best support transformative educational initiatives.

Join AIOIC President Joe Hobot, Ed.D. in discussing the importance of culturally contextualized education and honoring Native educational traditions while administering workforce development best practices.[/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”clear”][/bscolumns]

Interested in attending?  RSVP via Facebook! 

Summer School at Takoda Prep

Summer school has wrapped up at the high school, and another year of valuable additional learning time is in the books. Over the course of three weeks, 11 students from various grades earned additional credit in science, social studies, health, and physical education. The guiding questions behind this project based learning experience was inspired and driven by the forthcoming renewal plan for Takoda Prep. This renewal plan is intended to “chart a course for Takoda Prep of AIOIC as it transitions from its current mode of operation into a program more deeply contextualized within Indigenous values and practices.” To implement this renewal plan, Takoda Prep will utilize the Seven Learnings for an Indigenized School (aka “The 7 L’s”) which include:

  1. Learning Out-of-Doors
  2. Learning in Community
  3. Learning Across Generations
  4. Learning in Redefined Spaces
  5. Learning Leadership and Advocacy
  6. Language Revitalization
  7. Learning Indigenous Cultural Practices

During the 2017 summer school session, staff at Takoda Prep began to work towards the 7 L’s. To read more about this renewal plan, please read our recent press release, AIOIC’s Takoda Prep Nationally Recognized for Closing Achievement Gap.

The focus of this year’s summer school experience was native and indigenous plants. Some questions that drove this focus included the following: “What benefits do native plants have to humans and wildlife?”; “What native plants can we find right outside of school?”; “How do non-native plants affect the ecosystem?”; and “what are invasive species and why is it important to keep them under control?” In answering these questions, the students gained significant knowledge in plant parts and functions, nutritional needs of various indigenous plants, soils, and water, and the benefits of cultivating a garden.

In the process of gaining this knowledge, the students worked hard to weed, till, and plant donated native plants right outside of the school. The benefits of this new garden are multifold. Students who are involved in gardening at school get multidisciplinary opportunities on a daily basis, including biology, math, social studies, and even physical education. Soft skills are also addressed, such as interpersonal communication, organization, and time management. These valuable soft skills will be available to these students not only in the upcoming school year but also throughout their lives.

Another benefit to gardening at school is that it is an opportunity to connect with nature. In the urban setting that Takoda Prep is situated within, students don’t typically get a daily dose of nature. However, the therapeutic effects of engaging with the natural world have been proven over time. This directly relates to the first of the 7 L’s, Learning Out-of-Doors. “Through such direct interaction with the natural environment, students are afforded the opportunity to apply traditional teachings regarding responsibilities for stewardship of Mother Earth… .” Students will continue to reap the benefits of this garden and stewardship for years to come.

We were also able to connect as a community to the history of the space. If you have ever been to our campus at American Indian OIC, you may have noticed that our grounds are almost jungle-like in mid-summer! The lush vegetation provides a beautiful barrier from busy Cedar Avenue, and if you look closely, you can find many native plants. Sage, green onions, roses, ferns, and others are all among the beautiful outdoor classroom that is our campus. One lesson of summer school included the students venturing out onto the grounds and identifying the names of plants, whether or not they are native or invasive, and other scientific analyses. This deep interaction with the space in which these youths spend so much of their time connected them with the history and ecology of the area, but also forged their ownership over their space. These activities connect directly to leadership skills and the agency to advocate for their needs and goals (the fifth of the 7 L’s). Of course, the amount of physical and mental work this project required perhaps seemed daunting to the students at first, However, once the class finished the garden, they took a step back and could feel a deep sense of pride over their accomplishment.

Finally, the students took a field trip to Bdote (Fort Snelling) to identify plants and learn from a larger space. Learning in Redefined Spaces (the fourth of the 7 L’s) was a fantastic opportunity to remove the restrictions of the traditional school space. The students were free to walk and look at their own pace, and they applied the many skills we had been learning each day at summer school. Bdote is particularly important in terms of learning environments, as it is considered of major spiritual and historical importance to the Dakota.

More information about the renewal plan of Takoda Prep will be forthcoming this fall. To find out more information about enrolling a student in Takoda Prep for the 2017-18 school year, please contact Chris Hubbard, Education Director, at (612)341-3358, ext. 158.

Press Release: AIOIC’s Takoda Prep Nationally Recognized for Closing Achievement Gap

Minneapolis, Minn., June 30, 2017– Takoda Prep, the alternative high school located at the American Indian OIC, has been selected as a site of best practice in a national report on indigenized education for Urban Indians. Commissioned by the National Urban Indian Family Coalition in Seattle, Takoda Prep will be one of seven programs located in five different urban centers to be examined for harnessing culturally contextualized education and alternative learning methodologies to close the achievement gap between Native students and their white counterparts.

President and CEO of AIOIC, Dr. Joe Hobot has been commissioned to visit each program and write about their practices in a report due to be published in early Fall of 2017. Hobot says that “showcasing effective practitioners of culturally-contextualized education is critical to upholding Native values and traditions in the classroom, where Native history is often overlooked or rewritten, as well as highlighting the need for national and federal funding for these schools.”

Takoda Prep of AIOIC enrolls students who have fallen behind in the traditional educational setting and are at risk of dropping out. Located within the Little Earth neighborhood of Minneapolis, most students are Native American whose elders did not complete school. The graduation rate for American Indian students in Minneapolis is 36 percent. Through individualized education plans and culturally relevant programming, students at Takoda Prep graduation at a rate of 85 percent.

The mission of the American Indian OIC is to empower American Indians to pursue career opportunities by providing individualized education, training, and employment services in a culturally rich environment. The organization was founded in 1979 as a practical resource to respond to the considerable education and employment disparities faced by American Indians living in and around South Minneapolis. In the years since its founding, the AIOIC has built a workforce of over 20,000 people from the entire Twin City area and tribal nations across the country and is a nationally recognized leader in the workforce development field. Although it was founded to support people of Native descent, the American Indian OIC’s resources and programs are available to all persons regardless of race, creed, age, gender, or sexual orientation.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Ivy Estenson at 612-341-3358 ext. 125 or email at

Support System That Carried Two Graduates across the Finish Line


Each individual who enters the doors of American Indian OIC holds within them a story.

Although each of these stories is different – one common thread is constant during students’ time here: the strength of the support system that lies within these walls. This support system is  what keeps students coming back each day, and also what carries them across whatever finish line is their goal. Because of our small size and our commitment to give each individual the attention they deserve, we become an integral role in student success.

One recent graduate of the GED program, Sam, has been attending the programs here since 2012. He initially came to AIOIC because “it felt like home.” Sam grew up in the neighborhood. He had family member and friends who worked or attended school here. He felt comfortable in this space, and that’s what drew him to the program initially.

Sam’s road to this major life milestone has had its ups and downs. Attendance to the program has “been here and there. I was always working and making excuses.” But in the end, he always returned to the building that felt safe, welcoming, and supportive. No matter what, Sam knew he could pick up where he left off.

Though he has faced challenges, there have been a lot of positive aspects of his time at the AIOIC. He has seen many students come through who have wanted to give up, but staff members like Annessia Swann, ABE Director, and Leeann Nelson-White, Navigator, are always there to push students forward. “I was very close, like [other students], to giving up. They kept telling me to pull through and keep going, and I gave it my best shot.” It is incredible how much difference those words can make. A constant stream of support is truly what kept Sam motivated on a day to day basis.

Ultimately, it came down to a choice. Sam knew he had to be willing and motivated to make school a priority. Even though he always felt the need to be working, the choice to return to school was driven by the knowledge that when he completed his GED, a series of doors would be open that would never have been available without this credential. “I just didn’t want to continue working for minimum wage.”

Sam earned his GED in early March, but this is just the beginning of his journey. He will be attending school at Takoda Institute in the spring, enrolling in the Computer Support Specialists track. After that, he may move out of state to try something new. He also hopes to settle down, own his own place, and have a good paying job. All of these next steps are very attainable now that Sam has obtained his GED!

Another success story comes from the high school ,Takoda Prep. Jesse first came to AIOIC during the summer before his senior year. He was behind on credits, and his plan was to make up some credits and then return to his traditional high school to graduate with his class. However, things did not quite turn out as planned. Jesse was unable to stay focused. He didn’t feel supported by staff members, and the environment was not encouraging. At a mainstream high school, Jesse says, “you’re not being welcomed or getting the support or motivation from the staff.” Before he completely lost track, Jesse made an important decision: he returned to Takoda Prep to finish up his last few credits.

“There were times I actually liked coming to school,” Jesse said of his time at Takoda Prep. He felt like the environment and staff members really helped him stay productive. Every day that he came to school he felt supported and welcomed by teachers. Jesse said that it doesn’t take much: just encouragement and support to get their work done and succeed. That looks different for every student, but Jesse is right. Most of the time a student simply needs to feel like they are heard and have a place.

His grandfather was also a crucial person in his support system. Originally from Red Lake, his grandfather has lived in Washington D.C. for quite some time. However, he would still speak with his grandfather almost daily about staying on top of responsibilities and finishing school. “Having him reach out to me from all the way over there really means a lot.” Those frequent conversations the two had were a definite incentive for Jesse to finish up and make his grandfather proud.

In the fall, he will be attending school at MCTC to study business management and ideally would like to be a blackjack dealer. Eventually he would like to be in higher management, but right now Jesse wants to try out working in a casino to see just what role he would like to land in. He may move to D.C. to be with his grandfather to experience a new city.

His advice to current students is simple. “Don’t fall behind and don’t procrastinate. Keep on top of your work! Once you get everything done, then you can kick back and relax.”

The formula is this: the motivation from within, with an added dose of support from the welcoming environment at AIOIC. That’s all these two men needed to succeed.

-Written by Takoda Prep Instructor Christy Hicks

Family Night at Takoda Prep

Families packed into the one room school house on the evening of Wednesday, March 15th for the quarterly family night at Takoda Prep. The night has always served several purposes: for staff and families to get to know one another, to discuss student progress, and to eat dinner together. However, with the planning and coordination of the newest staff member, Jessica Rousseau, ALC Plus Care Coordinator, family nights have become a fun night of games, delicious home cooked food, and deeper connections between staff and families.

The highlight of the evening was when families played a game that the students helped invent called Better Know What I Know, a spinoff of the classic Newlywed Game. In the planning stages of the event, students helped to decide what game should be played. They thought it would be fun to test their parents’, guardians’, siblings’, and cousins’ knowledge of little facts about the students. Some examples of questions included, “what year was I born?” “what’s my favorite topping on pizza?” and “what’s one word you would use to describe me?” Of course, the answers caused uproarious laughter from the whole crowd. This game served as an excellent opportunity for families to spend time together, get to know one another, and feel truly comfortable in this space. Some students even used the microphone that was set up – which is saying a lot for our particularly shy students!

Staff members Chris Hubbard, Christy Hicks, Tom Lonetti, and Toby Schroeder also had great opportunities to get to know family members one-on-one. Many great conversations were had about students’ academic progress, personal growth, and challenges faced. Staff always struggles to connect with families as often as they would like as a result of families’ busy schedules and limited staff resources. But the conversations during family night were meaningful and insightful. One new student, who just moved from Canada, brought his family. His step father told staff that the student was very nervous about starting a new school two-thirds of the way through the year. He was nervous about getting lost and fitting in, especially in a completely new space. However, the student’s mom found Takoda Prep, and so far everything has gone very well.

Another new student, Clayton Feriancek, told staff a story about his experience so far at Takoda Prep: “I was sick a couple of days and it was the first time I have ever woken up that I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to go to school that day. And when I came in the next day I was really excited that I could get all the work so I could stay caught up.” This statement is a wonderful testament to the environment at Takoda Prep. The school prides itself on being a highly welcoming environment for youth who have previously struggled at traditional high schools. Students at Takoda Prep truly feel like they belong in this community. They are excited to be here and thrive amongst staff and peers who treat them like equals.

The food and prizes of the evening were also a hit! Families munched on fried chicken, delicious salads, and cheesecake bites. There were also great prizes that promoted family time such as banana splits and a movie and a cake decorating kit.

If you are interested in supporting Takoda Prep, consider donating to American Indian OIC so we can continue to make this an ideal learning space for our students.


Earlier the same day, the students spent a time volunteering at Feed My Starving Children in Eagan. They packed meals to be sent to Nicaragua for children who face hunger and poverty. Working hard and helping one another to pack as many meals as possible, the group ended up packing over 16,000 meals! It was a great experience in teamwork and also exposed students to global issues. Having the opportunity to help people in another community while having fun and working hard was a fantastic experience for the high school.

The next day, students and staff took another field trip. This one was to St. Thomas University in St. Paul. The group was able to walk around the campus a bit and view what it would be like to attend school as a college student. The main purpose of the field trip was to attend a screening of the nationally acclaimed documentary, The Seventh Fire. This film follows the life of Rob Brown and Kevin Fineday, residents of Pine Point, Minnesota on the White Earth Indian Reservation. The two men struggle with addiction, gang life, incarceration, and staying connected with their culture. It is a film entrenched with sorrow and challenging topics, but ultimately carries many important lessons. Though there is no true conclusion shown in the film, the students had valuable conversations on the bus ride home about the themes of the film and what may have come of the individuals shown.

All in all, it was a busy week of growing as individuals, getting to know one another, laughing together.

View the trailer and reviews of the film here:

Takoda May Mulligan Event


Monday May 22nd, 2017
Minneapolis Golf Club

More Details to Follow!

Spring is near—a time for fresh air, new beginnings AND an improved golf game. Forget about every mulligan you took during the last round you played and join us at the Takoda May Mulligan Golf Tournament.
In life, a mulligan is just par for the course. It’s a do-over after a missed shot. A fresh start. The choice to try again rather than give up. Students at Takoda Institute take every mulligan they are given and turn it into a victory as they enroll, learn and graduate with a promising career pathway in IT, healthcare, or business. This event will raise funds for scholarships to allow us to match the needs of a wider variety of students.

We can’t wait to see you out on the field!

Go here to buy your tickets!

Interested in being a sponsor?   Check out our sponsorship packages here!

A New Era Is Now Here – Part I

By: Joe Hobot, ED.D.
President and CEO, American Indian OIC

2017 is now upon us, and it is so much more than just the beginning of another calendar year . ..

In fact, there is strong evidence to suggest that we have collectively entered into the next phase of a suddenly accelerating period of civic evolution. Whether welcomed or not, a major transition within our society is currently underway. In the wake of these changes lies the detritus of an aged, failing system that had become calcified by the tenets of colonialism, false precepts predicated on the fallacy of economic scarcity, and thoroughly polluted by the toxicity of abject racism. Previously marginalized communities have awoken, and now are stepping forward in a quest for personal and communal sovereignty. They now demand their rightful inheritance as American citizens, while remaining openly disdainful of all who would insist upon an adherence to an antiquated way of life that was not inclusive of them. Civic unrest and a willingness to further deconstruct the established order has become the order of the day.

In direct response, the political winds at both state and federal levels continue to shift dramatically, changing direction with each new election cycle, as they have done so yet again very recently. All the while, it appears that a deep uncertainty has begun to permeate the hearts and minds of large numbers of our public officials. Many of our office holders give the impression that, for all intents and purposes, they are paralyzed beyond the act of simplistic public posturing, merely capable of only reacting to forces that they perceive as being beyond their control. It is as though these folks have been stunned by recent events much like a duck smacked on its head, having abdicated their role as “leader” and instead choosing to wait in idle observation for the return of their capacities, as well as to see what exactly this new era will bring forward for them to contend with. Unfortunately the urgency of our people and their needs cannot afford the luxury of such “wait and see” mentalities. Now more than ever is the time for action, for leadership …

To date, the American Indian OIC has not experienced any such stultifying effects. Our organization remains in motion, hard at work, and steadfastly committed to our mission. Not only has the American Indian OIC managed to sustain our focus in the face of the political winds swirling about us, but we have managed to accelerate and strengthen our efforts along the way.

With the ever-growing need to attain relevant skills, sustainable employment, and living wages, the American Indian OIC once again finds itself operating within a unique space during a critical juncture during our society’s evolution. Our organization continues to equip the American Indian community, as well as members from other communities of color, with essential educational and training opportunities that has empowered our clients to liberate themselves from the shackles of poverty and to live as truly independent people. Our community demands no less of us, for so many of our people still live in a perpetual state of crisis to this day. We have no choice but to heed their call and to act, as each new day brings new clients through our front doors desperate to build better lives. This process as championed by the American Indian OIC has laid the foundation for the establishment of an authentic Indigenous Middle Class.

As such, the American Indian OIC will continue to push forward with our efforts to better educate our community – choosing innovative, culturally-contextualized educational methods over the traditional ideology of “one-size fits all” that is so pervasive in today’s classrooms, and that has failed our people. Beginning in 2017, the American Indian OIC will redouble our efforts towards serving our people, assisting more and more to earn high school diplomas, GEDs, and Post-Secondary Career Certificates.

In this new era, the AIOIC will continue to provide the sorely needed stabilization services of immediate employment placement, career counseling, and income development through our robust employment services programming. We will help even more who have been involved in the criminal justice system to reintegrate and become thriving community members capable of making positive contributions to our society. Additionally, we will continue empowering our people to develop through all stages of life by providing ongoing opportunities for those who have occupations to further develop their skill sets, allowing them to advance even farther up their chosen career ladder. On the whole, we will continue to better educate, train, and place our community members as we onboard them in ever increasing numbers into the Minnesota workforce of the 21st Century – beyond what an antiquated, calcified, state-wide structure has thus far failed to achieve.

In this light, and during the onset of this new era, the American Indian OIC will spearhead a coordinated and intensive campaign – engaging all of our key stakeholders and partners – to lift our American Indian community to heights previously unseen for generations. We will move greater numbers off of the seemingly perpetual dependency on government entitlement programs, and instead accelerate their transition into good jobs predicated on sound educational and employable skill development. We will lift more people up off of the “social safety net” and get them standing under their own economic power. Not only will this serve to heal our people, but it will also truly broaden our state’s tax base and fuel its economic engines. Our work will join with the energy generated by the movements occurring in the streets as our organization will continue to provide the solid underpinnings upon which our people can find firm footing and stability as they continue their historic march towards true liberation.

In this new era, the American Indian OIC will lead the way towards building up the Indigenous Middle Class here in the 21st Century. Now is the time to advance our work to new levels . . .

Coming Soon:

What Does an Indigenous Middle Class Look Like? (A New Era Is Now Here – Part II)

Making the Invisible Visible; A Policy Blueprint from Urban Indian America



Monday, October 10, 2016
DoubleTree, St. Paul
5:30pm- social hour & networking
6pm- dinner & program

American Indian OIC and partners representing the Minneapolis/St. Paul urban Indian community will observe Indigenous People’s Day by hosting the working event, Making the Invisible Visible; A Policy Blueprint from Urban Indian America. From Making the Invisible Visible; A Policy Blueprint from Urban Indian America by the National Urban Indian Family Coalition:

The erasure or rendering of Native people invisible has been and remains a key factor limiting the opportunities and wellbeing of our communities. Native people residing in urban areas are amongst the most invisibilized populations in the nation, yet represent a significant portion of Native people in the United States: 72% of all American Indian/Alaska Natives and 78% of all American Indian Alaska Natives children live in cities. This invisibility has created and perpetuates extreme disparities across all the major sectors of life and community for tribal citizens living in cities including: children and family services, housing and homelessness, economic development and employment, and health and wellness (including the justice system). The lack of access to policy making or representation in current initiatives makes remedying these gross inequities especially challenging. Thus there has been insufficient efforts to develop comprehensive national policy or effective infrastructure at the local, state, and federal levels to serve urban Native communities. This absence has manifested in profound inequities in the distribution of resources, and access to high quality programming and services for Native people living in cities. 

Keynote Speaker & Moderator:janeen-comenote-headshot
Janeen Comenote is a founding member and director of the National Urban Indian Family Coalition.  She has spent the last 10 years advocating for American Indians/Alaska Native who live off reservations and endeavoring to provide a voice to this often “silent majority” in Indian Country.  She is the author of Making the Invisible Visible; A Policy Blueprint from Urban Indian America.

Speakers & Panelists:
Representative Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota House of Representatives
Dr. Joe Hobot, American Indian OIC
Mary LaGarde, Minneapolis American Indian Center
Robert Lilligren, Native American Community Development Institute
Patina Park, Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center

[bscolumns class=”one_half”]Ain Dah Yung Center
American Indian Community Development Corporation
American Indian Movement Interpretive Center
Bii Gii Wiin CDLF
Division of Indian Work
Little Earth of United Tribes

[/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”one_half_last_clear”] MIGIZI Communications
Minneapolis American Indian Center
Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center
Native American Community Development Institute
Nawayee Center School
Northwest Indian Community Development Center

[/bscolumns][bscolumns class=”clear”][/bscolumns]



Education Leads to New Career for Takoda Graduate

Cory, a proud member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, knew he needed a change. He was working in a low-paying job that was starting to take a physical toll on his body. He wanted a job that had financial security and opportunities for advancement and one that was less physically straining. With the guidance of a caseworker at a Minnesota WorkForce Center, Cory determined that further education was his solution.

Last fall, Cory enrolled in the Takoda Institute’s Computer Support training program. During the program, he acquired the foundational skills and knowledge needed to enter a job in tech support. He found the atmosphere at Takoda to be serious, but also one that didn’t create unnecessary stress for students. Grants and scholarships allowed Cory to complete the program free from the burden of student debt and even provided some cushion for living expenses. He was also able to gain valuable hands-on work experience in his field by completing an internship.

In just nine months, Cory completed training and was ready to enter the tech workforce. He strived for excellence and was determined to stand out amongst the rest, especially to prospective employers. So, when the opportunity for employment presented itself, Cory was eager and ready. A staffing firm came to the school looking for tech workers to fill open positions. Takoda staff referred Cory for employment and, because he already had practical experience from his internship, he seamlessly transitioned into employment. He is grateful to his Takoda career counselor whose skills and dedication contributed to his gaining employment. “His help is a major reason I got hired so quickly after I completed the program. The things David taught me will continue to serve me well into the future.”

Cory is now working as a Technical Support Technician and is charged with moving things along as efficiently as possible in a fast-growing technical support department. He has increased his earnings by 40% and offers this advice to incoming students, “be efficient, productive, and constant in your awareness of what you set out to achieve.” Cory is excited to excel in his position and looks forward to advancing in his career.

 The Takoda Institute is enrolling now for its next quarter. Graduates will gain hands-on experience and vocational knowledge in the fields of health information, computer support, or administrative support. Students are also provided with a career counselor who will help them develop a professional profile, gain work experience, and connect to employment in their field of study. To learn more, follow this link.

If you are an alumnus of American Indian OIC’s programming and would like to share your story of success, contact Lucie at 952.977.9303.