TORCH Renovation

TORCH is currently updating and reorganizing for the upcoming school year! If you have any gently used furniture (tables, couches, chairs, rugs, etc) and are interested in helping TORCH create a more comfortable, welcoming space for the growing cohort, please contact:

Beth Berry, Current High School Coordinator, 612-216-4047

Kim Horner, Incoming High School Co-Coordinator, 563-379-7795

Teddy Gelderman, Incoming High School Co-Coordinator, 651-815-2438

Minnesota Dream Act

Check out this link, or the summary below!


TORCH will be organizing more information for interested students in the future.
Check back for updates!


The MN Dream Act will:

* Allow students to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities if they meet certain requirements, regardless of their immigration status.
* Make state higher education aid available to all students who meet residency requirements, regardless of immigration status.
* Allow public institutions (MnSCU and the University of Minnesota) to use private funding as financial aid for all students, regardless of immigration status.
* Create a MN financial aid application specifically for these Minnesota students that delinks the Federal and state financial aids.

Slide3Image and information from

Student Spotlight: Juan Carlos Hernandez

Juan Carlos Hernandez TORCHMeet Juan Carlos Hernandez!

Juan Carlos is a 2012 graduate of Northfield High School. As a student, Juan Carlos was a part of the TORCH program, he participated in the Summer PLUS program as a mentor for Northfield youth, and performed as a member of the West Side Story production.

Currently Juan Carlos is attending St. Paul College. He is pursuing his A.A.S. in Culinary Arts. Recently, Juan Carlos was the chef for the TORCH Winter Walk dinner, held at the Northfield Armory. Juan Carlos prepared Esquites for over 200 community members, and helped raise over $1200 for TORCH scholarships.

Student Spotlight: Jhosi Martinez

32413_10200165189639222_1931358722_nMeet Jhosi Martinez!

Jhosi is a senior at Northfield High School. She has been a member of TORCH for 6 years. Currently she is co-chair of the HCI Youth Advisory Board, a member of the TORCH Youth Advisory Board, a LINK leader at Northfield High School, a mentor in Youth Teaching Youth, and a PSEO student working to earn college credit during high school. Jhosi has also volunteered at PLUS summer programming, been a mentor for Connected Kids, and volunteered at Northfield’s Turkey Distribution, Christmas Sharing, and Thursday’s Table.

When asked about a favorite experience, Jhosi points to her time with kids in the Youth Teaching Youth program. “I really enjoy doing Youth Teaching Youth. This is the 3rd year I’ll be doing it,” she said. “I really like having that interaction with kids and helping them out.”

After graduation, Jhosi plans to attend Rochester Community and Technical College to earn a degree in Medical Interpreting. While working as an interpreter, she hopes to return to school and become a pediatric nurse.

Earn College Credit in High School

Latino parents and students of middle and high school,
There is an excellent opportunity for your children – they can take free college classes, and obtain college credits, while they are in high school. February 12th there will be a forum where you can hear more about this opportunity. Come and learn more details and how your child can enroll. All of your questions will be answered and your entire family is invited. There will be food, childcare, and each family will receive 2 DVDs about Dual Credit. Come and Learn about how to guide your child in taking the right steps towards reaching their academic goals, and who you can trust to support your child with these goals. This information is very important for parents and it is free!
When: February 12th, at 6 pm.
Where: At St. Olaf College in the main building called ‘Buntrock’ (room 211 Valhalla)
For Whom: Families with children in grades 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12.
*It is not necessary to sign up for this event. Everyone is welcome.
Padres latinos y estudiantes de la middle y high school,
Hay una oportunidad excelente para sus hijos- pueden tomar clases de la universidad, gratis, y obtener créditos de la universidad mientras aún están en la high school. El 12 de Febrero va a haber un foro donde pueden escuchar mas sobre esta oportunidad. Vengan y aprendan mas detalles y como sus hijos/as pueden inscribir. Todas sus preguntas van a ser contestadas y toda su familia está bienvenida. Va a haber comida, guardería para los niños durante el evento, y cada familia va a recibir 2 DVDs de “Dual Credit (Doble Crédito).” Vengan y aprendan como guiar a sus hijos en tomar los pasos correctos para tener éxito en lograr sus metas academicas, y a quien se puede confiar para apoyar a sus hijos con sus metas. ¡Esta información es muy importante para los padres, y todo es gratis!
Cuando: El 12 de Febrero a las 6 pm.
Donde: En la Universidad de St. Olaf en el edificio principal que se llama ‘Buntrock’ (cuarto 211 Valhalla)
Para Quien: Familias con hijos/as en los grados 8, 9, 10, 11 o 12.
*No es necessario inscribirse para venir a este evento. Todos están bienvenidos.


Yesterday, TORCH was featured on Minnesota Public Radio! The story, titled “Northfield Program Shrinks the Achievement Gap,” was aired on All Things Considered. Interviews include TORCH High School Program Director Beth Berry, Faribault’s CAST Program Director Martha Schultz, Carleton College’s Director of Academic Civic Engagement Adrienne Falcon, and Northfield High School seniors Jhosi Martinez and Frank Calvario. Click here to go to the story on the MPR website.


Christmas Sharing

TORCH students help prepare for Christmas Sharing at the CAC.

Every December, TORCH students volunteer at Christmas Sharing. This event, hosted by the Community Action Center, distributes hundreds of gifts to area children and families. Last year, they provided gifts for 866 children!

This year, 14 TORCH students have volunteered their time to help make this event possible. TORCH volunteers include alumni: Pablo Orozco, seniors: Frank Calvario, Cristian Lozada, and Jhosi Martinez, juniors: Preston Robinson, Helen Forsythe, and Yovany Herrera, sophomores: Nicte-Ha Calvario, Luis Dominguez, Avea Halverson,  Gregorio Leon, Leslie Rodriguez-Vazquez, Adilene Valeriano, and Giselle Vazquez.

Adilene Valeriano (left) and Giselle Vazquez (right) wrap presents for Christmas Sharing.
Seniors Cristian Lozada (left) and Frank Calvario (right).

Successful Night at
Soup for Scholarships

Thank you to everyone who supported our first Soup for Scholarships All Community Winter Dinner! We had a wonderfully festive and busy night, serving over 200 Northfield community members and raising over $1200 for scholarships that will benefit low-income, minority, and first-generation college-bound students at Northfield High School.

Special thanks to the following organizations, groups and individuals:
Suzie Nakasian
Arlo Cristofaro-Hark
Bon Appétit
Carleton College Facilities Management
Econo Foods
Jason Hallen
Jennifer Lompart
Juan Carlos Hernandez
Leslie Nieves
Mary Williams and the NHS Brass Quintet
Northfield High School and Middle School Staff and Teachers
Northfield High School Special Education Department
Teddy Gelderman
TORCH Alumni and Current Students