Every Hand Joined

by justineh

PICS Organization Name
Every Hand Joined


Red Wing, Minnesota

Weekly Stipend

Public Transportation

Housing Provided

Former Interns
Andrew Goh '19, Kyle Lang '19

Organization Description
Located one hour southeast of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Red Wing is one of the most enviable cities in Minnesota offering its residents the best of all worlds.  Red Wing reflects the small town welcoming environment that you would expect from a city of 16,000.  It is nestled in the upper-Mississippi River Valley making Red Wing one of the most picturesque cities in all of America.  What you wouldn’t expect from this small town is the vibrant arts community, open air concerts, great theatre and unending opportunity for outdoor activity!  If you run out of things to do in Red Wing, a sixty minute drive will find you enjoying all the great shopping, theatre, concerts and professional sports that the Twin Cities has to offer.

Since 1857, Red Wing has been a community built upon hard working, industrious people who really care about their kids. It’s the home of shoes, skates, pottery, artists and unparalleled natural beauty. It’s a city that loves manufacturing and the arts. It loves athletics and the outdoors. It honors the past and embraces the future. Red Wing is many things to its citizens but the bond that unites everyone is pride in the community that we all call home.

For much of its history Red Wing saw little change as many children of its immigrant settlers remained and raised their family in the city of their birth. Red Wing encapsulated the American dream – a great school system prepared children for their future, a thriving local economy that provided good jobs for those children and the opportunity to be economically better off than our parents were.

But the start of the 21st century saw Red Wing reflecting the changes that the country was experiencing – a challenging economy, changing demographics and a lingering concern that our children would not be better off than their parents are.  In 2011, 10% of Red Wing residents were living at or below the poverty line. Today, that rate is 14% with 20% of children living in poverty. In the 2012-13 school year, 48% of our kindergarten students were eligible for the Free and Reduced Price Meal program. This issue alone is cause for concern as research shows that students from economically depressed circumstances enter school behind their peers and that gap widens over time.

Red Wing’s demographics are also changing.  Relative to metro communities, the level of racial diversity in Red Wing is low, but it is increasing. The challenge for Red Wing is the lack of preparedness by a community that had, until recently, been highly homogenous.  It is critical that we offer support to all of our students in a continually changing academic and shifting social environment.

Today a typical Red Wing primary classroom contains 24 students –

18 students are white, 6 students are of color
1 student does not speak English
11 students qualify for the free/reduced lunch meal program
10 are receiving academic support outside the classroom
5 have moved into or out of our district during this school year

Although our current graduation rate is slightly above the state average, each year we have students who don’t graduate from our high school on time. 40 years ago, a high school diploma was often enough to ensure economic stability as in 1973 only 28% of jobs in the United States required a post-secondary degree. But 45 years ago is history and the future will be a different place as it is estimated that by 2018, 70% of Minnesota jobs will require some type of a post-secondary degree. That economic reality tells us that students who don’t graduate from high school seem destined to a lifetime of economic instability.

In order to help our children face the increasing challenges of the 21st Century global economy, we need to ensure that every child has the knowledge, strengths and support that will guarantee success. Every Hand Joined is a collaboration of Red Wing businesses, nonprofits, city and county government, schools, foundations, and parents united to help our young people reach their full potential, from cradle to career. Our mission is simple: Every Child. Every Opportunity. Every Step of the Way.

Imagine the impact of a united community where the schools, parents, businesses and non-profits all come together to lift up the potential of all children. Children would thrive and have opportunity in a demanding and ever changing world. Imagine a strong economy as a more dynamic workforce feeds growth and innovation. On September 26, 2012, leaders from Red Wing Public Schools, businesses, non-profits, local governmental agencies and foundations came together to turn vision into reality. These different entities believed that by joining together and working collectively, they could have a greater impact upon Red Wing youth and the community’s future than could be done working separately. That meeting gave birth to Every Hand Joined. Since then Every Hand Joined has been committed to helping every child in Red Wing reach their full potential and be successful in life. This commitment runs from cradle to career. For over two years, Every Hand Joined has worked diligently and deliberately to fulfill that commitment.

For several reasons, Every Hand Joined is different than any other previous initiative Red Wing:

  • Collective Impact – all organizations are working together, aligning their efforts toward a common goal, using the same data and constantly sharing information. Using a collective impact model, the sum is truly greater than the parts.
  • Data Driven – all decisions are based upon data. Data fuels Every Hand Joined. Decisions will only be made when the data supports the decision.
  • Long Term – the work will never be complete. There isn’t an end date to this initiative. Every Hand Joined will be successful when it becomes part of our community’s DNA. Our community’s future will be built upon the success of our children, present and future.
  • StriveTogether Network – Every hand Joined does not operate in isolation. We are part of a nationwide network of communities working on cradle to career initiatives. As a member of the StriveTogether Network, Every Hand Joined benefits from sharing best practices. We are able to take the lessons learned from other communities and implement them in Red Wing. To ensure that our children receive the support that they need and deserve, Every Hand Joined, with input from school district personnel and community leaders, has developed five goals and we will continually measure our impact upon these goals.
  • Every child is prepared for school
  • Every child is supported inside and outside of school
  • Every child succeeds academically
  • Every child enters some form of post-secondary education or training
  • Every child completes their post-secondary educator or training and enters a career

To date, Every Hand Joined has launched six different networks (committees) comprised of community stakeholders to work toward achieving those goals.  Success will be widespread but will only come with time.  Patience is critical to Every Hand Joined. 

While comprehensive systemic change is a somewhat future state, Every Hand Joined is having an impact and celebrating smaller successes on a daily level. Possibly the most significant success we’ve witnessed is the over 250 community members who have volunteered their time and are involved in this initiative - and that number continues to grow.   Our Early Childhood Network is measuring their success in the 160 young people who attended Kindergarten Boot Camp this August as well as the 82% of last year’s kindergarten students assessed ready to begin their educational journey!  The Youth Enrichment Network can see success in the almost 75% of our middle and high school students who are involved in activities beyond the school day according to the most recent results of Search Institute’s REACH assessment.  You can see success in our math teachers as they work to vertically align their curriculum, k-12; a move spearheaded by our Math Network.  And you can most certainly see success in the faces of the young people who received a free lunch as the Hunger Free Kids Network worked alongside the United Way to develop a Summer Food Program serving over 14,400 meals from June through mid-August.

The goals of Every Hand Joined are beautiful in their simplicity yet daunting in their complexity.  When successfully completed, these goals will position the children of Red Wing for success in the increasingly competitive and demanding 21st Century Economy.  We owe the successful completion of those goals to our young people and to our community.  As we tell everyone in Red Wing, “Remember, they’re not just your kids or my kids – they’re our kids!”

For the past three summers Every Hand Joined has sponsored a Summer Food Program that provides lunches to children throughout the community.  Launched in 2014, the Summer Food Program provided just over 1200 lunches at a single site.  In 2015, the program added an additional site and increased the number of lunches distributed to just over 2000.  Summer of 2016 saw city-wide expansion to eight sites and over 8,900 lunches provided to Red Wing youth under 18.  Every Hand Joined has wanted to add an academic component to the Summer Food program whether that component be reading or math.  To date, Every Hand Joined has never had adequate capacity to develop and launch an academic component to the Summer Food Program.

Internship Description
The primary responsibility of the PICS intern will be in data analysis.  Every Hand Joined is a data driven organization, making data analysis critical to the decision-making progress.  The PICS intern will also have cross-functional exposure and responsibilities.  Because Every Hand Joined is a small non-profit, the PICS intern will have the opportunity to work with, and support, each of our six different networks (committees) with data analysis.  The PICS intern will be able to experience all aspects of our non-profit, from marketing to governance; from finance to public relations; from participating in leadership team meetings to making sure that lunches get delivered for the Summer Food Program.  The PICS intern will be working side by side with the Every Hand Joined team on everything we do!  Every accommodation will be made to ensure that the PICS intern has the opportunities that he/she desires to make the experience incredibly rewarding.

The PICS intern will also be responsible for attending and contributing to all Every Hand Joined Staff Meetings, Partner Table meetings, and pertinent network meetings.

Internship Qualifications


  • Strong background in math
  • Ability to conduct data analysis and synthesize results in a usable and understandable manner
  • Excel and Power Point proficiency
  • Desire to make a positive impact


  • Ability to work well with others
  • Self-motivated
  • Self-starter
  • Self-directed
  • Strong verbal skills

Expected Start Time
8:00 am

Expected End Time
4:30 pm

Required Dates
Ideally, start date in very early June and end in mid-August, but can accommodate intern's needs

Dates must be consecutive. This is non-negotiable.

Internship Length
10 Weeks

Meets Certificate Requirement

Additional Info
Will work with intern to help secure local housing.  Some sub-leases may be available.  Rooms within homes may also be available.

Any work beyond the traditional work day will be volunteer work and not required.  There may be 2 or 3 community events that will provide the volunteer opportunity.

A background check may be necessary.

Evaluation Excerpt

My best work experience was attending the literacy network meeting to see first-hand how members of the community made decisions based on the data I provided. I also helped clarify any questions they had so hearing their perspectives and mental approaches for strategies helping our target population was really interesting.
—Andrew Goh '19


To see whether this internship is still accepting applications for 2018, please check the Second Round page.


To read evaluations written by former interns, please contact the
Student Program