Business owner leads students in mentoring program

Prince Wallace is one of the corporate executives who mentor students at Risen Christ School’s Imagine the Possibilities program. -Photo courtesy of Shore to Shore Communications

In an effort to prepare children for rewarding careers in the future, Risen Christ School (RCS), a 325-student K-8 grade school located in the Powderhorn Park area of Minneapolis, has created Imagine the Possibilities.

More than 90 percent of RCS’s students come from families who are living either at or below the poverty line. Many of these students will become first-generation high school graduates. Imagine the Possibilities program pairs top executives from over a dozen companies with up to six students in grades 6-8. The business leaders/mentors design a project related to their field to be presented over the course of the school year to their group of students.

Prince Wallace, CEO of Independent Packing Services, a minority-owned packaging and crating company, has created a lesson plan based on his professional background and is applying it to an interactive series of sessions with students. The program also involves his entire family — led by Wallace’s daughter, Andrea Burns — as part of the Wallace Family Philanthropic Endeavor.

“I want to share my experiences as a child raised in a foreign country [Bahamas] with very little financial resources but rich in family values,” said Wallace. “It’s also a perfect fit into our family’s philanthropic program.”

Wallace is also the president of Fridley-based West Central Environmental Consultants, which provides property assessment and site investigation and remediation services. Wallace’s program includes field trips to both of his businesses as well as to a college to better understand the importance of higher education in business.

Student participation includes focus group research and other ideas to help youth understand the importance of their education in preparation for future careers.
“The approach is both innovative and creative. Because the students are the focus of the campaign, they bring back to the classroom insights and knowledge that also influence, inform and enlighten other students,” said Fran Rusciano Murnane, RCS’s director of advancement and program manager. “Imagine the Possibilities allows us to expand our academic capital and gives our students a broader educational experience.”

Independent Packing Services is based in Morris, Minn. with offices in Fridley. Wallace and his wife, Sandra, live in Bloomington. They have three adult children.

This article was provided by Shore to Shore Communications.