Mayor Lucas and GreenLight Fund KC announce $1.7M investment in youth mental health

Youth Guidance organizations chosen to partner with Hickman Mills School District

GreenFund announces investment in local Youth Guidance orgs. // Photo courtesy of HMC-1

On September 14, GreenLight Fund Kansas City announced its first investment at $1.7M, choosing local Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (BAM®) and Working on Womanhood (WOW). The two organizations will partner with Hickman Mills School District starting in January 2021, with BAM and WOW counselors serving over 100 students at Smith-Hale Middle School and Ruskin High School. There are plans to expand the program to eight schools across the metro area by 2025.

“BAM and WOW are school-based group counseling and mentoring programs that work to improve the social-emotional and behavioral competencies of students in grades 7-12 who’ve been exposed to traumatic stressors and face social, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional challenges,” states the official press release from Hickman Mills School District

Mayor Quinton Lucas and GreenLight Fund Kansas City Executive Director Sarah Haberberger were joined by Hickman Mills School District Superintendent Yaw Obeng, HMC-1 Board President Cecil Wattree, and Gail Day and A.J. Watson – Youth Guidance (joined virtually) for the press conference at Ruskin High School.

Mayor Lucas stated, “GreenLight’s first investment reflects Kansas City’s commitment to young Black and Brown students, and to empowering our children to resolve conflicts and develop into their full potential. BAM and WOW are proven, evidence-based models that provide youth safe spaces to share their challenges, find mentorship and access support, and I am glad to help launch these programs in our Hickman Mills School District.”

Superintendent Obeng added, “HMC-1 is looking forward to this important partnership with the GreenLight Fund and Youth Guidance. “Through this partnership, our students will have access to an added layer of support with thoroughly trained and highly skilled counselors to help with social, emotional and mental health needs.”
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