The Parks for All Youth Design Team is a group of youth from across the City, who are working with MPRB staff, the Community Advisory Committee, Community-based organizations, artists and many others to help create the 2020 Minneapolis Park Comprehensive Plan. More specifically, the Youth Design Team positions are paid and a great opportunity for youth interested in policy and planning to gain applicable community engagement and career- building skills and experience by:

  • Assisting with community idea and input gathering;
  • Learning about the staff, history, agency, and systems that make up the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board;
  • Talking to youth and adults about how they use and want to improve parks through engagement in formal meetings and informal park events;
  • Making policy recommendations;
  • Working with staff at the MPRB to develop policy guidance for the agency

Here are the members of the Youth Design Team and a little about each of them!

Youth Design Team Bios

Araya Pettiford-Jenkins

Age: 15 years

School/Grade: I’m going into the 10th grade at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka.

Favorite Park and Why I wanted to be a part of the Youth Design Team: My favorite park is Fairview because I practice for crew rowing there in the winter season, they also have a very welcoming staff.

Why you are excited to serve on the Youth Design Team and work on the Comprehensive Plan: I’m excited for the youth design team because I think that youth should get to decide what happens in the parks because they are the one utilize it the most, I also want to see how policies are made and implemented.

Alaysja Jones

Age: 15 years

School/ Grade: I attend Edison High School and I’m going into the 10th grade.

Favorite Park and Why I wanted to be a part of the Youth Design Team: My favorite park is Logan park because it’s a nice park and everyone is just welcoming and very nice. I’m excited to be a part of the youth design team because it would be a nice experience and would cool to learn about all the different parks and also try to talk with communities and find out what they want to make our parks better.

Khalid Ali Muhamed

Age: 18 years

School/Grade: I am a Freshman at St. Paul College

Favorite Park and Why I wanted to be a part of the Youth Design Team: Minnehaha Falls is my favorite park because it has so many things I love in a park. It has beautiful scenery, great trails for skating and hiking and all sorts of hidden spots for relaxing and reading and stuff like that.

I’m excited to be part of the Youth Design Team and work on the Comprehensive Plan because I enjoy being able to have a role in bettering my community and making sure their needs are voiced and heard. I also like seeing that I can help provide all the amazing resources that MPRB has to offer that communities in other countries I’ve seen don’t have access to.

Hassan “Qais” As-Sidiq

Age: 22 years

School/Grade: (5th year of independent studies)

Favorite Park and Why I wanted to be a part of the Youth Design Team: Stevens Community Park and East Cedar Lake.  I love bringing my nieces and nephews down to either of these parks to play and use the parks programming.

I genuinely enjoy meeting all the different people you do when walking the parks pathways, and just being in the public spaces with many engaging amenities. I am super excited for the opportunity to work amongst my younger peers on the Youth Design Team to update our MPRB Comprehensive Design Plan and to make a competent 20 year plan detailing our shared interest in the preservation of Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Centers.”

Isabel Nelson

Age: 15 years

School/Grade: I am a sophomore at Roseville Area High School.

Favorite Park and Why I wanted to be a part of the Youth Design Team: My favorite Minneapolis park is Logan Park because I live very close to it, so I walk there almost every day and I really enjoy and appreciate it.

I am very excited to work on the Youth Design Team and with the Comprehensive Plan because it will be a great learning experience, and I am looking forward to working with and meeting new people.

Isa White-Mendez

Age: 14 years

School/Grade: I go to Roseville Area High School and I am going into my sophomore year.

Favorite Park and Why I wanted to be a part of the Youth Design Team: My favorite park is probably Logan and Cherokee Parks because they are really nice parks with lots of open space and I can walk to them from where I live.

Being part of the Youth Design Team, I am looking forward to sharing my ideas and love for the parks with other youth while working on the Youth Design Team as part of the Comprehensive Plan.

Toby Carr

Age: 15 years

School/Grade: Edison High School and I’m going into the 10th grade.

Favorite Park and Why I wanted to be a part of the Youth Design Team: Windom park because it is the closest park to me and I go to it a lot whenever I have time.

I joined the Youth Design Team because I play sports and hang out with friends and family at the parks a lot and I wanted to get involved in the process for what’s important and how resources get put into the parks in the future.

Will Sylvain

Age: 16 years

School/Grade: DeLasalle High School Sophomore.

Favorite Park and Why I wanted to be a part of the Youth Design Team: My favorite park is Windom Park in Northeast. I have grown up across the street from Windom and have always enjoyed spending time there. It is a place where I was always able to have fun when I was younger, and I understand now how lucky I was to have such a safe and accessible place to play.

I am thrilled to be a part of the Youth Design Team, and to able to assess the needs of the community and work with the team to make actual changes that will benefit everyone.

Davis Zeis

Age: 16 years

School/Grade: I attended Edison High School but this fall I will be a Freshmen at Minneapolis Community Technical College

Favorite Park and Why I wanted to be a part of the Youth Design Team: Jackson Square Park

I love animals and being out side and parks give a place for animals to live and for me to be in nature. I really enjoy our parks and hope to make them better for all people to enjoy and appreciate.

Genesis Figueroa

Age: 17 years old

School/Grade: I go to Washburn High School and I am in the 11th grade

Favorite Park and Why I wanted to be a part of the Youth Design Team: My favorite park is Bryant Square because that is the place I do most of my activities. I also enjoy being there with friends.

I’m excited to be part of this group because I get to learn new things and get to work with all the youth here.