The Drexel Mission School Initiative is a program of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis that provides programming and services to qualifying schools in exchange for commitments to certain standards of excellence on the part of the schools.

To be eligible to participate, enrollment at a school must be comprised of more than 50% kids eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, as well as more than 50% students of color.  Participating schools opt in to the program. Currently the program serves 10 schools in the Archdiocese.

The needs of Drexel schools are unique. It’s not only that they can’t rely on tuition as a revenue stream. For these schools to provide the high-quality education and Catholic value proposition that all families expect from a Catholic school, their learners, families, school leaders, and faculty need considerably more support.

Drexel Schools receive professional development, special grant opportunities, and many other benefits. Importantly, they also receive the services of the City Connects program out of Boston College, which provides wrap-around social services for learners and their families. Social workers at each school assist the families with out-of-school supports like access to food, housing, and mental health services.

Support the Drexel Mission School Initiative

The Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota (CCF) is the steward of two funds supporting the Drexel Mission School Initiative:

Drexel Mission School General Fund

The many benefits and services provided to Drexel schools are expensive, but each one is proven critical to the schools’ success.

As Catholics, our faith calls us to have a “preferential option for the poor.” In our community, we can live out this principle of Catholic teaching by supporting the families among us most in need.

Now through September 30, one generous donor will match all donations to this fund, up to $250,000!


Drexel Mission School Social Services Fund

The GHR Foundation incubated and piloted City Connects for Drexel schools and, for several years, have funded the service. As they now shift their focus to pilot other innovative programming, their financial support for Drexel Schools is ramping down.

Because of City Connects’ proven success, the archdiocese has committed to continuing the program. This fund has been seeded with a $250,000 gift from a generous donor, but the total cost for the program is nearly $1.6M.


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*Donating online generates fees for CCF and potentially from your bank. To maximize your contribution, you can write a check payable to Catholic Community Foundation with the fund name in the memo and mail it to Catholic Community Foundation  |  2610 University Avenue West  |  Suite 500  |  St. Paul, MN 55114.

Interested in making a tax-efficient, non-cash, or other large donation? Please contact Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Bethel Ruest at 651-389-0875 or

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Meg Payne Nelson
Vice President of Impact
Email Meg