Young Women on the Move Get a New Home

We have some exciting news to share on behalf of our friends at Young Women on the Move.  Far too many girls in our community fail to reach their potential due to significant barriers of poverty, violence, and fractured homes and communities. Young Women on the Move, a KCK nonprofit, is dedicated to reversing this current reality. Mary Beth Gentry, founder and executive director of the 12-year-old nonprofit explains, “When a girl is given the beliefs, habit, attitudes and expectations to succeed, she will be a catalyst for a community’s improved social and economic health.”

Young Women on the Move has been an anchor to hundreds of adolescent girls in Kansas City, KS these past 12 years. Many of the girls, now young women, are proof that it is possible to rise above extremely challenging circumstances to being self-sufficient, ethical and resilient adults. On average, Young Women on the Move serves 75 middle school and high school girls every week in out-of-school activities focused on the values and life skills to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Some short-term outcomes include improved grades, decreased problem behaviors, and increased connections to school and community. Longer-term, the majority of Young Women on the Move members graduate, attend college and gain employment.

In February, Young Women on the Move’s search for a permanent home resulted in the extraordinary gift of a church building, a donation from the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church. The former University Church at 3148 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, KS will be a place that provides stability and opportunities for growth, space where our young women can thrive, be creative, collaborative, entrepreneurial, and receive healing of mind, body, and spirit.

Young Women on the Move’s vision for this new home is an environment uniquely designed for young women, a place of discovery, healing, restoration, and equipping for a successful future. The building includes a spacious fellowship hall and kitchen, education rooms, and ample space for individual and small group counseling, creative arts, fitness, adolescent health, STEMM activities, entrepreneurial activities, tutoring, academic and career support.

This property has the potential to be a great community resource for youth, families, and community. To realize this potential, Young Women on the Move is seeking community support. Opportunities are available for mentoring, life skills training, academic and career coaching in addition to service as a board member and/or on committees for fund development, finance, program, and marketing/communications.

A capital campaign is underway to raise funds for building renovations and support for expanded programs and services. Donations of in-kind services are welcome and count toward the campaign goals. For more information, please contact Mary Beth Gentry at (913) 744-9139, or visit their Facebook page.