Mayor Hodges Brings on Advisors to Improve Life Outcomes for City’s Youth
Hires Angela Watts, Phillipe Cunningham to Continue Administration’s Efforts
 
July 27, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS)—Today Mayor Betsy Hodges’ announced that she has hired Angela Watts and Phillipe Cunningham to bolster the work her administration has done to improve early childhood education, education across the city, and youth development.
 
Watts will serve as the Mayor’s senior policy aide on early childhood education and youth development; Cunningham will serve as the senior policy aide for education and youth success.
 
“I am thrilled to have such talented people joining my staff,” said Mayor Hodges. “I know that to achieve our goal of improving life outcomes for the city’s youth, we need the very brightest and most dedicated people. I am thankful that Angela and Phillipe have chosen to be a part of my team and know that their contributions will benefit all of Minneapolis.”
 
Watts brings decades of experience working with children, youth, and families to develop programs that increase educational outcomes and opportunities for young children to Mayor Hodge’s team.
 
Watts served on the United Way of the Greater St. Louis Early Education Leadership team where she helped initiate an integrated systems approach that resulted in an increase in credentialed early education teachers and the number of quality child development centers.
 
Most recently Watts was the Senior Director of Health Prevention and Promotion with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. Prior to that she served the City as the Director of the Health Department’s Health Start Program where she helped improve birth outcomes across the City.
 
She has served on numerous non-profit boards but is extremely proud of her involvement with the North Side Achievements Zone’s Early Childhood Action Team where families are the architect of their children’s future.
 
Watts will apply her talents in bringing together different sectors to implement the Mayor’s Cradle to K initiative. She is a licensed clinical social worker, and holds a master’s in public administration and business management.
 
Cunningham comes to City Hall with over ten years of experience as an educator and youth worker.  He first served Minneapolis as a member of the City’s Executive Committee on Youth Violence Prevention.
 
Cunningham was a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools as a Chicago Teaching Fellow. In addition to his classroom experience, he has developed and implemented out-of-school-time programs across several subject areas with an emphasis on developing youth into 21st century citizens.
 
Cunningham has served as a state-level public policy advocate seeking to create a stable, public funding stream for afterschool programming for K-12 students across Minnesota. Cunningham is also working in partnership with the Wilder Foundation developing the Community Equity Pipeline program for community organizers and leaders of color to learn the public policy process with a focus on building racial equity into legislation.
 
Cunningham will focus his expertise on addressing racial disparities and closing the achievement gap for youth in Minneapolis. He will also be working on the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. Cunningham is currently completing his masters in Youth Development Leadership at the Univerty of Minnesota.
 
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Published Jul 27, 2015

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