JL Griffis Twin Cities School, Inc. (TCS) is an immediate and constructive solution. TCS will assist our youth, ages 12-20 years, in a practical development program to increase and enhance
their knowledge and skills in the STEM fields. The addition of an Arts and Design component encourages students to produce new ideas and products.


Program and Goals

R.E.A.D. – Robotics, Engineering, Arts & Design Robotics, Engineering, Arts & Design is an after-school and summer program that supplies real-time, real-situation, real-life training. Students actually work in Automotive, Aviation, Media Production and Journalism with direct instruction and mentoring from field experts. Immediate benefits are the engagement of students in projects that expand their imaginations and their learning. Students’ interest in post- secondary education (college or additional vocational training) will increase as they see their career dreams become possible. Many student projects will also provide future revenue streams for the organization. Long-range goals are a competent, creative and competitive workforce. Entrepreneurial training and mentoring also contribute to students’ developing leadership skills and visionary thinking.

Founder

Jerry L Griffis


Jerry Griffis

His Story

This is not your average story about a perfect childhood, direction, or luck story. This story is about a man name Jerry L. Griffis who is doing some things positive in his life and the lives of others, and who would think? Some said it wouldn’t and couldn’t be done. He is not one of the ones who grew up in the church, traveled here and there, just an average guy with lots of dreams. It all began in the year 2000 and it was a dream and a vision that God revealed to man. Jerry Griffis was born and raised on the west side of Chicago, Illinois, where he was introduced to the kind of life his mother had no part in training up her child, so she headed to a small city south of Chicago, where chances and opportunities would be a little better than Chicago during that time. Jerry always knew that he could do more than just be on the streets and live a life of crime, drugs, and drama. So, he kept the thoughts that one day he will make a difference in many people lives.It was also in Jerry’s hometown that Jerry met his sweetheart, Valencia Holden, now Griffis. Together they have put together many successful businesses. Jerry and Valencia both knew that in order to be successful you have to want anything in life they had to prepare for the better life. For 10 years, Jerry and Val ran one of the few minority-owned automotive reconditioning companies here in the Twin Cities. It was Jerry’s love of cars and Val’s management skills that led them to be in high demand for bringing cars “back to life.” In 1992 Jerry was recruited to manager and run one of the largest reconditioning centers at one of the larger GM dealerships in the twin cities, and because of the success in 2000 Jerry was called to be the first black service manager in the Midwest to run the service department. In 2011, Jerry and his team of service professionals won number one in customer service in the Midwest. So, the business skills were always there….Jerrvals Records was the first business that Jerry started in 2000. With the combined names of husband and wife , the record company was birthed with great expectations. Jerry and Val met some wonderful people within the gospel music industry, who knew when they met him, he was mainly about business.
Listening to the news, watching the news on television with all the crime and drama in the cities and twin cities included, Jerry had a strong passion for trying to bring some of the youth off the streets and into a positive learning atmosphere. In 1998 Jerry had a dark time in his life when he lost one of his sons, that dark time and the death of his 16 year old son, is what put Jerry on his journey to help young boys and girls. Jerry saw how his son enjoyed hanging out at our auto reconditioning shop, or the dealership learning about vehicles and his love for music.
So Jerry started research schools that offered hands on training. Jerry started to write his business plan for a school that offers hands on training in the area that he knows the best and subjects that will hold the attention of the students.
Jerry looked at a career that would be available in the area of Performing Arts, Aviation, Automotive and Multimedia and the company he started is an 501(c)(3) nonprofit social services organization dedicated to Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. The name of the high school is Twin Cities School. After Jerry attended several meetings at the department of education Jerry was hearing over and over that students were reading at a six-grade level and their math was six grades or lower. So Jerry is looking to add other high schools in other cities for the year 2015. Jerry decided to start his after school development center for students who have more time out of school than they have in school .So Jerry started R.E.A.D After School and Summer Development Center.
An innovative project between R.E.A.D After School, the MN Association of Women in Aviation, and the MN Department of Transportation to help our students succeed in school, mobilize future talent, and cultivate a workforce that is prepared to meet the transportation challenges of the future. This program proposes the development of a Multi-Modal Transportation Curriculum to improve students’ proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects with an emphasis on female and minority students. Jerry partnered with the Institute of Production & Recording that offers to help develop students in audio engineering and sound and design. After a phone call to one of Jerry friends in Chicago his friend told him to call the Urban League of Minneapolis and Jerry contacted a staff member by the name of Dr Anita Davis-Defoe and the partnership started. R.E.A.D have four schools and have eighty students in its first year. R.E.A.D’s relationship with the Urban League and Project Ready which is a national program that works with community and some schools. R.E.A.D. after-school program is available to students from the grades of 6-12.
Our program is designed to give the students a positive place to go, keep them off the streets, and our program train students in the various areas of Robotics, Engineering, Arts & Design, Multimedia, Photography and more.
In conjunction with these subjects, we will teach math, science, reading, writing, and social skills to give them a well rounded educational experience.