GAP was founded by Sister M. Giovanni in 1967 to address the high number of secondary school dropouts. With the help of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Catholic order to which Sister Giovanni belonged, she purchased a house to serve as an alternative school for high school-aged youth near Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on the West Side of St. Paul.
Over the past decades, GAP’s service area grew from a neighborhood focus to throughout the Metro area. GAP’s programming also expanded to include mental health and social work services, adult basic education, training leading to industry-recognized certifications, mentoring, and post-secondary transition support.
What has remained constant is GAP's focus on young people and their families who are experiencing poverty and transition. Today, GAP serves children and youth at high-risk of school failure, and immigrants and refugees seeking to create a better life in this country.