YOUTH GUIDANCE IN KANSAS CITY

History/Background

In September of 2020, after a comprehensive selection process in collaboration with local community leaders, GreenLight Fund Kansas City announced its first investment, in Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (BAM®) and Working on Womanhood (WOW). Programming launched in partnership with Hickman Mills School District, at Smith Hale Middle School and Ruskin High School, with BAM & WOW programming currently expanding to additional schools and districts across the metro area.

Mayor Quinton Lucas championed BAM and WOW’s expansion to Kansas City, which he says,

…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.

Becoming A Man® program (BAM®) is a school-based group counseling program that guides young men in 6th-12th grades to learn, internalize and practice social cognitive skills, make responsible decisions for their future and become positive members of their school and community.

BAM integrates clinical theory and practice, men’s rites of passage work, and a dynamic approach to youth engagement.

Working On Womanhood (WOW) is a multifaceted, school year-long group counseling and clinical mentoring program.

WOW works to improve social-emotional competencies for girls in 6th-12th grade exposed to traumatic stressors in high risk and under-resourced communities.

Using a trauma-Informed approach, WOW targets young women with significant risk factors for dropout or delinquency such as: teenage pregnancy, trauma, drug or alcohol abuse, self-harm, gang involvement, fighting, academic failure and discipline referrals.

BAM PROGRAM IMPACT

Students enrolled in the BAM Program are:

50%
less likely to be
arrested for violent crime
25%
more engaged
in school
19%
more likely to graduate
high school on time
$ 30
in societal gains for
every $1 invested in BAM

WOW PROGRAM IMPACT

62%
of WOW students
experienced fewer
PTSD symptoms*
71%
of WOW students
experienced fewer
depression symptoms*

*of those starting in the clinical range

96%
of WOW students reported
that the program has helped them
make better decisions for themselves

KANSAS CITY

Seed funding to launch Youth Guidance’s work in Kansas City was generously provided by GreenLight Fund Kansas City and by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

Partner school districts include Hickman Mills C-1 School District, Kansas City Public Schools and Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools.

MEET OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Garrett M. Webster, Sr.

Executive Director | Kansas City

Garrett M. Webster, Sr. continually asks the question, “How can we do it better?”

Garrett is a native of Hartford, Connecticut, but considers Kansas City his home for three decades. His leadership opens doors for students and families to access quality education and sets the stage to prepare for college, career and life. Garrett is the former Director of Admissions for Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS), a transition agent for college and career and a respected community connector. He revolutionized the KCPS enrollment process by transforming the paper system to an online enrollment system. This system enhancement streamlined enrollment for families and increased applications by 260%. Garrett’s efforts have strengthened the community’s trust in the public-school system.

Garrett’s passion is empowering youth, which stems from his own experiences as a teen. In the beginning of his career, Garrett served as an in-school tutor and teacher. He later created and served in a college advisor role in a Kansas City charter school. He went on to continue serving students as the Assistant Director of Admissions for Brown Mackie College. He soon realized that students needed his help before their college start. So Garrett took his talents to the YMCA to serve as the Young Achievers Director. There he served students from 54 schools (grades 7-12) in six different counties across Missouri and Kansas. Garrett is credited with helping hundreds of students tap into their inner strength, gain exposure to college and careers — garnering more than $4 million in college scholarships.

Garrett holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Operations from DeVry University. He was appointed to the Kansas City Mayor’s Youth Commission in 2015. He earned the Pace Setter award for fund development in 2014, 2015, and 2016. He also earned the Eagle award for leading in fund development in 2015 and 2016. Garrett has a passion for people, purpose and process. Currently, he serves on the Education committee for the American Jazz Museum. In his spare time, he enjoys a relaxing round of golf or a day at Kauffman stadium watching his Kansas City Royals with the family. Garrett is husband and father of two amazing children.

Additional Information

Social Media

KANSAS CITY ADVISORY COUNCIL

Youth Guidance’s advisory councils are composed of individuals who are committed to helping students and program participants in their communities. Each council member has a strong desire be actively involved in solving the issues these youth face. Each devotes time, talent and expertise to the current and future work of our local programs.

Founding Executive Director

Sarah Haberberger

GreenLight Kansas City at GreenLight Fund

Founding Executive Director

Sarah Haberberger

GreenLight Kansas City at GreenLight Fund

Regional Policy Director

A.J. Hermann

Accelerator for America

Regional Policy Director

A.J. Hermann

Accelerator for America

Executive Director

Porsche Seals

Caring for Kids Network

Executive Director

Porsche Seals

Caring for Kids Network

President

Vickie Wolgast

South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

President

Vickie Wolgast

South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

Impact Strategist

Donna Bushur

Health Forward Foundation

Impact Strategist

Donna Bushur

Health Forward Foundation

Community Impact Maker

Angel McGee

Community Impact Maker

Angel McGee

Director of Talent Development

Rebecca Williams

SchoolSmartKC

Director of Talent Development

Rebecca Williams

SchoolSmartKC

Deputy Superintendent of Student Services

Carl Skinner, Ed.D.

Hickman Mills C-1 School District

Deputy Superintendent of Student Services

Carl Skinner, Ed.D.

Hickman Mills C-1 School District

Director of Community Engagement

Andrew Weisberg

Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

Director of Community Engagement

Andrew Weisberg

Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

Vice President for Access and Engagement

Rodney Smith, Ed.D.

William Jewell College

Vice President for Access and Engagement

Rodney Smith, Ed.D.

William Jewell College

Executive Director Student Services

Jermaine Wilson, Ph.D.

Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

Executive Director Student Services

Jermaine Wilson, Ph.D.

Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

Deputy Chief of Staff/General Counsel

Melesa N. Johnson, Esq.

City of Kansas City Mayor’s Office

Deputy Chief of Staff/General Counsel

Melesa N. Johnson, Esq.

City of Kansas City Mayor’s Office