Mike and Paulette deeply care about education and empowering youth to choose their own paths toward good-paying jobs. As a third generation American and an executive at Land O’Lakes, Mike values the opportunities he’s had, and the couple is helping other immigrants and young adults chase their own “American dream” through United Way’s Career Academies program.
Career Academies partners with school districts to prepare students for in-demand, high-wage careers. After visiting the Burnsville High School program where students were learning how to become automobile technicians, chefs and more, Mike and Paulette were so inspired that they decided to generously invest in Career Academies’ expansion into new districts, so that hundreds more students can engage in wealth-building careers.
“There’s value in getting kids thinking about what they want to do for a career while they’re still in high school,” said Mike. The practicality of providing students the opportunity to choose their own paths and engage in real-world work experiences motivated the couple to get involved.
“We have a lot of division in our country right now, but we can all agree that the best solution for the challenges we have is good jobs,” said Mike. Centered on building pathways to zero college debt and $25-per-hour jobs, 10,000+ students – half Students of Color – have enrolled in Career Academies since 2015. “In essence, it [Career Academies] is the American dream.”
Thank you, Mike and Paulette, for providing more students with equitable access to fulfilling careers.
The Greater Twin Cities United Way is honored to acknowledge the many generous contributions of Mike and Paulette Vande Logt by welcoming them to the Tocqueville Society Million Dollar Roundtable, where they are joined by 51 of their peers. Thank you so much!