Edina, Minnesota


  • Community name: Edina
  • Community or city website
  • Population: 45,569 people
  • Graduation rate: 98 percent
  • Youth poverty rate: 2.5 percent 


America’s Promise Alliance named Edina one of its 2011 100 Best Communities for Young People.  A second-time 100 Best winner, Edina has a sought-after school district with an outstanding 98 percent graduation rate and consistently ranks number one in Minnesota when it comes to standardized testing, but the community’s educational efforts don’t stop there. Edina ABC, a nonprofit organization, works to provide education to talented students of color from low-income families outside of Edina. Edina’s May Term Program offers high school seniors the opportunity to participate in an internship or create an educational project of their own design. In addition to educational efforts, Edina is part of the Tri-City Partners for Healthy Youth and Communities, which is a blend of public health professionals and community members who work to reduce risk-taking behaviors. The city also has 14 youth athletic associations, many run solely by more than 1,100 adult volunteers who work to help 10,200 Edina youth lead healthy and active lives.

Community Programs

  • Edina makes youth a community priority with the Edina Community Foundation’s series of Intergenerational Edina Dialogues that includes youth participants.
  • Edina has established a Van Valkenburg Children’s Fund to provide financial supports for community programs geared towards children and families in need.
  • The May Term Program offers high school seniors an opportunity to intern either at their school or elsewhere, or execute an educational project they design themselves.
  • Southdale YMCA, Edina Public Schools, the Edina Foundation and the ERC have joined together to offer a summer camp for under-served youth, allowing them a safe, affordable summer experience.
  • Edina Chemical Health Partnership reaches toward its goal of reducing youth substance abuse by sharing resources between the school, city, health department, medical, faith, and business communities.
  • Every year, the parents of the graduating class organize an all-night graduation party to offer students a safe alternative on graduation night.
  • A Twin Cities youth group called Youth Frontiers sponsors day-long retreats for students, focusing on kindness, courage, or respect.
  • Each Edina secondary school employs two school resource officers, who work to bring together the school’s educational services with the police department, allowing students the opportunity to develop a positive relationship with the police department. 

Youth Voices

The directors work so hard to make sure that band is important in student’s lives and that it is not just another extracurricular but a reward in itself.


STRIVE has also allowed me to take on leadership responsibilities. I am now a leader in my community and it impacts everything else in my life.