MITY’s day, residential and online programs build skills and attitudes for lifelong success. MITY empowers eager 1st - 12th grade students to recognize and grow their unique talents through innovative classes and a welcoming environment. Our interdisciplinary, hands-on curriculum challenges students to collaborate with diverse peers to generate creative solutions to real-world issues. MITY ignites curiosity, expands knowledge, and nurtures future leaders.
Our mission is to inspire and challenge intellectually curious students to pursue their passions within a diverse, inclusive community and empower them by building skills and relationships for lifelong success.
Why Choose MITY
- Intellectually challenging, unique, hands-on curriculum
- A variety of classes to engage many interests, talents & learning styles
- Multiple avenues to connect and apply learning to the real world
- Ongoing opportunities for collaborative problem-solving with other bright, eager students
- Small class sizes (each limited to 16 students) to ensure individual attention
- Exceptional faculty and staff
- A welcoming environment where students can be their true selves
- A fun and rewarding experience
- Love of Learning
- Commitment to Pluralism
- Open Mindedness
Twin Cities Institute for Talented Youth (TCITY) was launched in 1967 when several Minneapolis and St. Paul public school educators, along with their academically gifted students, sought a way to continue learning beyond the regular school year. With the support of local foundations, businesses, school boards, and private donations, 300 talented high school students were selected to participate. The first summer classes were held at Murray Senior High School (now Murray Middle School) in St. Paul.
Move to Macalester College
In 1969, the TCITY office was moved to Macalester College. From then until 1981, the program was fully funded by the Minneapolis and St. Paul districts, and only students who resided in those districts could attend. When state funding for summer programs was eliminated, TCITY became a non-profit organization that was open to all talented students and charged tuition.
In 1985, TCITY offered its first residential program. Eight years later, ExplorSchool, a program for current 5th and 6th graders, was launched at Randolph Heights Elementary School in St. Paul. That same year, 1993, TCITY changed its name to Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth (MITY) to reflect its booming student population, which now consisted of youth from across Minnesota, the country and the world.
Stimulating Young Minds
In 2002, Your Extraordinary Saturday (YES), a Saturday program for 1st-4th grade students, began to hold classes in November and March. In 2011, ExplorSchool moved to St. Paul Academy & Summit School, followed by the YES program two years later. MITY celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2017.
54 Years of MITY
Today, MITY serves 500 – 600 students in grades 1 through 12 each year. While the organization has expanded to serve a broader range of students, our core belief has remained consistent: that diverse, highly motivated students deserve the opportunity to satisfy their thirst for learning and expand their vision for the future. For 54 years, the MITY and TCITY experience has inspired thousands of students to recognize their gifts and has empowered them to flourish.
Meet Our Team
Erica holds a B.A. from Brown University, an M.A. in Educational Policy & Administration from the University of Minnesota, and an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas. She is also a licensed K-12 Principal in the state of Minnesota and is certified in Professional Development. Erica has taught students in grades 6 - 12, undergraduates and graduate students, and was a school administrator for ten years before coming to MITY.
Nienke holds a B.A. in French Language and Literature from the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands) and an M.A. in Library and Information Science from the University of Amsterdam. Before joining MITY, Nienke worked in higher education advising international students for fifteen years.
Board of Directors
President – Paul Chmelik, Former Head of School
Vice President – Dan Pennie, BTC Management, Inc.
Treasurer – Chad Miller, Thrivent
Secretary – Nienke Wijnia, MITY
Matt Nikolaiev, Ecolab, Inc.
Derrick Banks, SAP America, Inc.
Anne Brataas, The Story Laboratory
Erica Brewinski, MITY
Judy Cognetta, Community Volunteer
Katherine Geary, Jim Geary & Associates
Matthew Hunt, Blue Cross Blue Shield
Ann Huntrods, Taft Law
Chuck McBeain, Bank of America
Karine Moe, Macalester College
Ted Smetana, Lovepop Cards
Jamil Stamschror-Lott, Creative Kuponya