What is The Key?
300 Number individual youth NUY works with every year
12,000 Number of visits to The Key every year
90 Number of individual youth in leadership position every year
4,000 Number of free meals served every year
800 Number of staff/youth interventions every year
The Northfield Union of Youth (NUY) was founded in 1993 by a Youth Board and a Board of Directors. Its first major accomplishment was to open a substance-free youth center as a safe place for all youth to feel welcomed and encouraged, and to provide an opportunity to connect to the Northfield community. The youth center opened in December of 1995 and became known as “The Key”; named in memory of Northfield High School student Lindsay Key Perkins. Lindsay championed the idea of a place for youth to call their own, but tragically died before the doors opened. In 2010, The Key moved from 303 Water Street South to 109 6th Street West. The move opened the doors to hundreds more youth. In 2016, NUY added food programming at The Key, partnering with Just Food Co-op and Carleton College’s Food Recovery Network to provide free and healthy meals every day. In 2017, NUY grew to three youth boards, specializing in The Key, Mental Health, and Homelessness. In 2018, NUY’s youth leadership hired two additional full-time youth advocates to provide more services for youth throughout the community.
NUY is a 501(c)3 non-profit and is funded primarily from donations and contributions from generous individuals, organizations, and businesses. If you’d like to support our mission, please click the donate button at the top of the screen or contact us about current needs.
NUY also weaves together an array of grants to make our mission possible. NUY works with people, organizations, foundations, and agencies for the benefit of youth. Click here for our current list of funders.
7 days ago
“Hello, my name is Haley Heiner. I am the Co-President of the Northfield Union of Youth, also known as 'The Key.' I have been attending there for a while now and I’ve honestly never felt more at home there. So many wonderful people have accepted me there and I’ve gained amazing new friendships. The Key has helped me through so much regarding mental health, social skills, financial problems, and more. Without The Key, I don’t know where I would be today, and so many youth could say the same. The Key is the longest-running youth-led and youth-empowering organization recorded in the United States and I want it to stay that way. So many kids, including me, need a safe space like The Key. I'm so grateful that I have a place like this, and I am beyond grateful that our community cares for this organization.”
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