Bank of America issues grant to KC nonprofit The Grooming Project


Pup receives grooming services by student of The Grooming Project // Courtesy The Grooming Project

Bank of America recently announced The Grooming Project as one of the recipients of 14 endowed national grants throughout Kansas City. The Grooming Project is a nonprofit pilot program and subsidiary to Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC), dedicated to training impoverished individuals and families to become self-reliant through the trade of pet grooming. 

Founder and CEO of EPEC, Natasha Kirsch, believes that this grant will enable the project to put more students through their program with funding and support.

Graduating 27 students in 2022, The Grooming Project expects that with this grant, and a growing number of Kansas City families embracing their pets as an integral part of their family, the program will continue to graduate, support, and financially empower incoming students and their families. “It’s transformational at the very least,” says Kirsch. “Most of our students are coming from houselessness, domestic violence shelters, probation, and parole, and they really don’t have a pathway out of poverty.”

One such student was able to use the program as a catalyst to jumpstart her own business. Completing the program in 2019, Amanda McIntyre was able to open the doors of Classy Canines within the following year, thanks to the skills provided and taught in the school. “To have the opportunity to participate in The Grooming Project’s program has allowed me to find an amazing future in the dog groomer industry,” says McIntyre. “I’m truly grateful for this experience and so excited to see what’s in store.”

The Grooming Project currently operates at two locations with the salon in Lee’s Summit and the grooming school in KC. Starting next year, the program expects a third location at 58th and Troost to be fully operational with a market rate grooming salon, grooming school, and doggy daycare all under one roof.  

President of Bank of America Kansas City, Matt Linski, says that these philanthropic investments in nonprofits like The Grooming Project “help remove barriers to economic success and build a more sustainable community.” For those at Bank of America and the Grooming Project, the grant intends to aid the community in doing just that.

“We need to dig [our students] out of the situation that they’re in,” says Kirsch. “They work really hard alongside us to make all of that happen.”

The Grooming Project Grooming School is located at 5829 Troost Ave., Suite B. Kansas City, MO 64110. They are open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

The Salon is located at 1650 SE Blue Parkway Lee’s Summit, MO 64063. They are open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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