The Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans (TOYM) program is Minnesota’s only statewide recognition program for young leaders who have made major contributions to our state through volunteer service, community involvement, singular expertise, innovative thought or entrepreneurship.
TOYM honorees reflect the vast diversity of young people making a difference in the community through business, nonprofit and community organizations, education and government service.
MinnPost and MinnPost’s YPN are proud to be a 2011 TOYM partner, sharing the stories of each of this year’s exceptional honorees.
Today’s featured Outstanding Young Minnesotan is Jeff Bauer of Minneapolis: social justice advocate, reformer, community organizer and civic leader.
Currently the director of public policy and civic engagement at The Family Partnership, Bauer has broad experience in the areas of politics and government, business, education, nonprofit human services and resource development.
A public policy grad from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota (where he received the Arthur Naftalin Award for Public Service), Bauer has done grassroots work for causes as diverse as urban agriculture and political campaigns.
Over the years, Bauer has developed and managed numerous community partnerships and performed extensive community work with African American, African, Latino, Hmong, Native American and Caucasian youth and families.
A regular presenter on issues related to civic engagement and racial equity, Bauer was recently a featured speaker at the Alliance National Conference.
Prior to joining The Family Partnership, Bauer worked as special assistant to the Minnesota Attorney General, acted as vice president of the West Side community Organization, and served as the executive director of Youth Farm and Market Project — an Minneapolis-based organization that operates urban gardens as a way of promoting cooking and nutrition and facilitating job experience and community engagement within local neighborhoods.
Alongside his regular work, Bauer co-founded (with artist Pamela Sukhum) the Infinite Vision Foundation, a youth-development program fund to build schools in Vietnam.
Bauer and Sukhum also established the Infinite Vision Art Publishing company which houses The Beautiful Project, an art-therapy program helping to heal children physically and emotionally impacted by war.
Through painting, Sukhum works with children in war-torn areas such as the Congo, Sudan and Sierra Leone, while Bauer coordinates the direct provision of medical supplies to facilities involved with the treatment of children in these areas.
Now at The Family Partnership, Bauer helps the nonprofit to provide counseling, education and advocacy for the area’s most vulnerable children and families, including the TeenPRIDE initiative for sexually exploited or at-risk young women.
While with The Family Partnership, Bauer acted as chief lobbyist for the Safe Harbor Act, a law ensuring that children and teens victimized through commercial sexual exploitation are afforded services and help, rather than forced into the juvenile justice system.
Under Bauer’s impressive leadership, Minnesota became the fifth state adopt a Safe Harbor Act in July 2011.
To learn more about how Bauer is making a difference in the lives of Minnesotans, watch his TOYM video:
Want to learn more about this year’s TOYM honorees and meet them in person? Click here for details about this Saturday’s TOYM/OYF 2011 Awards Celebration!
Join MinnPost’s YPN in honoring our state’s exceptional emerging leaders!
Stay tuned next week for coverage of the 2011 TOYM/OYF Awards Celebration and profiles of this year’s Outstanding Young Farmer (OYF) finalists. Up next: The 2011 OYF winner is announced!