Change Inc. is the product of a merger of two community-based organizations, Guadalupe Alternative Programs and Change Inc., both originally founded to serve underserved individuals and address the challenges of systemic poverty and racism that prevent Twin Cities families from achieving their full potential.
Guadalupe Alternative Programs, located on the West Side of Saint Paul, was founded in 1967 to provide an educational alternative for youth at-risk of school failure. The original Change Inc. was initiated in 1993 to provide supervision, training, consultation, and occasions for the inevitability of change, with a focus on issues of poverty and racism persistent in Minneapolis; this initiative was built on the founders’ previous work in community-building that started in the 1960s.
After more than a decade of close collaboration, both organizations determined that the most effective way to move forward would be to merge, adopting Change Inc. for the name of the organization with GAP School being retained as the name for our alternative high school and associated programs in Saint Paul. Through the merger, complete in June 2019, we can leverage additional resources, streamline operations, and draw on a large body of experience and deep ties to the community, helping us expand on our work to serve the diverse Twin Cities region.
The foundation of our approach is that relationships are the key to change. Change Inc.’s program activities, based on strong relationships and trust, holistically ensure our students are cognitively, socially, and emotionally equipped to succeed in school and life. We provide individualized education that attends to the social-emotional needs of students, including mental health services and basic needs resources such as meals, childcare, and transportation. Because the challenges facing our students and their families are continually shifting, Change Inc. works to adapt and create programs that respond to the moving needs of our participants. Currently, our work is divided into three key programs: GAP School, the Community & School Collaborative (CSC), and the Change Institute.