SAUK RAPIDS  - Youthprise has announced the Sauk Rapids-Rice School district has been awarded a grant to help students who are at risk of dropping out of school.

Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School Principal Nate Rudolph says the three-year grant totaling $618,000 will mostly target 8th to 10th grade programming.

"It's really to support our students that may have different barriers in their way and it will also support their families."

Money will go to the initiative foundation and school district to develop and implement a model for secondary students. The grant will benefit 166 students, 50 percent who are from communities of color and 25 percent who have disabilities.

"It's to break down the barriers and to make sure they have the relationships they need and the support they need to be successful," Rudolph says.

The Sauk Rapids-Rice grant is part of a larger $3.65 million in grants to six Minnesota organizations to connect Minnesota's youth with services and support that will lead to high demand careers. The careers include IT, health care, construction and manufacturing.

Youthprise received requests of more than $71 million from 23 organizations in the state.