At Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, we know that growth comes from within. In all of our programming we aim to lift up the communities in our region by providing them with resources and a framework for success, but it is the people within our partner communities who ultimately create the future they want to see.
In late July the Somali American Cultural Society of Owatonna was vandalized with spray paint and had a fire lit in front of its building. I was saddened by this senseless act of vandalism against SASCO, which has been a reliable and valued Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation grantee and client. Several years ago, SASCO was founded by Ibrahim Hussein to serve the job search needs of Owatonna-area Somali refugees, as well as provide after-school homework assistance to Somali children. Let me tell you more about Ibrahim Hussein.
When people try to find Minnesota's secret sauce to our high quality of life and seemingly common sense (comparatively speaking) approach to government, there's sometimes mention of the Itasca Group. This is a group of top Minnesota business leaders who get together every Friday morning to discuss ways to collaborate and advocate for a stronger Minnesota. Itasca Group exemplifies how Minnesotans come together to find win-win, common sense solutions, and then back those solutions with capital.