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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Green Works in Kansas City

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services

Mission: Our mission is Environmental Education and Workforce Development for Urban Youth. We believe that when we change the future of our urban youth, we change the future of our community. We educate urban students about the environment, involve them in service projects that improve their community, prepare them for post-secondary education and the workforce and connect them to opportunities in the growing green economy. We also work with individual citizens, families, neighborhoods and organizations through informal science education to increase community awareness and support of environmental education and workforce priorities, and inspire environmental stewardship and respect.

Results: - We serve more than 100 students each year, teaching them about the environment, increasing their science literacy and comfort with nature, and helping them prepare for life after high school. - We have funded over 14,000 hours of summer internships for our students. - Our students and volunteers have planted 5 native plant beds, 50 trees and more than 4,000 native shrubs and plants in urban neighborhoods and along Brush Creek. And through our programming our students' science scores have increased, they have changed their behaviors towards the environment, they have increased their social networks and 100% have graduated from high school. Many of our graduates are currently in college and four of our graduates secured employment at their former internship sites.

Target demographics: urban high school students connect to a green economy

Direct beneficiaries per year: 115 students

Geographic areas served: Kansas City's urban neighborhoods

Programs: environmental education, workforce development and community engagement.

Community Stories

63 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Green Works is genuinely concerned for the future of everyone who has joined. They create an environment where you can discuss your dream and they will do what they can to help you get closer to it. They care about what you want to do and will place you into an internship that best fits you. They help you gain experience and the knowledge to be prepared for the internship like how to dress and how to act. And since it is all new, they help and guide every step of the way. I am glad I invested my time into the program!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love working with Green Works in Kansas City. As an occasional volunteer, it is so easy to see the impact that Green Works makes on the Kansas City community by developing young teens into productive and professional members of society. We hosted a Green Works intern at my company 2 summers ago and she was a great asset to the team while she was with us - and she learned a lot about her future career field with first-hand experience!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had so much fun during my time in the Green Works program because I met a lot of friends, and people to help guide me. From leading campaigns to earning Internships, I have learned so many lessons: how to sustain the environment, conduct myself for jobs, networking, and overall, getting to meet awesome new people! Green Works has a lot to offer and provides a positive stimulus for those who are interested, and yet deserving of their achievements.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Greenworks is one of the most nimble and dynamic nonprofits in Kansas City. Their work connects high school with experiences that help them explore future careers that can build healthy and sustainable communities. Cheers to the companies that partner with Greenworks to provide experiential learning experiences for students with limited opportunities.

Lisa H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Green Works in Kansas City for many years because of how well Green Works achieves its mission of helping educate urban youth about the environment while teaching them lifelong job skills. Along the way Green Works also helps these youth gain confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the future.

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Advisor

Rating: 5

Kate Corwin, Founder and President has done an outstanding job of bringing her business expertise and entrepreneurial vision to Green Works. Green Works has grown and thrived in a very difficult economic period through Kate's leadership, partner/funder development, and her consistent physical energy and presence. Green Works has done a terrific service to the Kansas City community by being an integral part in turning around the lives of some of Kansas City's most "at risk" youth by providing them guidance, structure, encouragement, education, and skills they can put to work as they mature into positive, confident, and optimistic adults. Kate has personally invested considerable extra time and effort to ensure the programs offered provide significant learning and hands-on experience for the students. The only issues that I have witnessed relate directly to having enough funds, materials and volunteers to assist Kate in implementing programs. The students often need rides, may not have gloves - necessary for working outside in the fall, etc.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Green Works students have visited Olsson for the past two years to learn about careers in engineering, landscape architecture and urban planning. The students are very engaged in the projects we do and have a keen interest in the career options. It is a wonderful way for our company to engage with students and it seems as if the students have a meaningful experience.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have participated in mentoring and practice interview workshops with Greenworks KC. Kate and her team do a fantastic job connecting students with professionals to build their confidence and skills. The emphasis on sustainability centric curriculum is spot on!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Green Works the mightiest nonprofit in KC. The depth and breadth of their programs are unmatchable. The education, exposure and networking opportunities created by Green Works are truly transformative & life changing for the students.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have attended events sponsored by GreenWorks allowing me the opportunity to speak with youth involved in the program and hear them share about their learnings and work. This organization does an excellent job in engaging youth in hands on learning activities that help the youth grow in their knowledge of the environment - the many challenges facing our environment and how they can make change. Green Works is also an amazing community partner providing high interest learning opportunities for a range of groups teaching us about the water treatment systems in KC and how integral the Missouri River is to our city; learning about native plants and the role they play in a healthy environment and so much more.
The creative staff and proactive leadership of the organization makes it a successful model for environmental education in KC!

Reed Family

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Green Works KC just keeps getting better and better! The organization has been able to provide great education and training for urban youth, as well as paid internships in the summer.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Green Works in Kansas City inspires me! The organization excels at maximizing financial resources to benefit our urban youth and community. And the return on investment in this group is astounding. While it may be difficult to measure in dollars, it's real value trickles through every fiber of the community. Green Works provides: hands-on, relevant job skills to teens and then helps them find jobs, community outreach that strengthens families and the communities they live in, as well as providing outreach that tangibly helps our environment.

LDMark

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Extraordinary dedication to the underserved urban core student makes working with Green Works a pleasure... and their thoughtful programming means it's fun for every one involved, too!

Kim M.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have attended a number of programs hosted by Green Works. Each one showcased topics that student mentees are engaged with. I have been consistently impressed by the students and the work skills and experience that they have gained through Green Works. Green Works makes a difference!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For more than a decade, Green Works in Kansas City has been helping vulnerable youth experience the joy of learning while also helping them improve the environment. Through their excellent hands-on educational programs and internships, they have helped scores of youth gain the connections and positive experiences needed to overcome trauma, poverty, and negative classroom interactions. They help youth gain resiliency and the success needed to go on to lead healthy productive adult lives. As an agency that works with our community's homeless young people, we are grateful to partner with Green Works in Kansas City to help heal lives and improve the world.

NeilaSeda

Board Member

Rating: 5

Green Works is an amazing organization focused on the educational and professional growth of urban youth. Students who participate, really enjoy the courses and internship opportunities and continue to give back to the organization afterwards. I have been able to volunteer within the organization as an assistant instructor as well as at the events and currently serve as a member of the board. I was able to learn so many day-to-day environmental applications that I had not learned in my studies as an Environmental Engineer. The level of detail, knowledge, enthusiasm and energy that is put into these programs is exceptional.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a former student and now program assistant, I love seeing the students find their passions and get excited by the process of developing their professional portfolios. Green Works’ Excelerate program is providing students a direct route to professional career placements that would have been otherwise hard to find.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a supporter and board member of Green Works, I can say without hesitation that it is a 5-star nonprofit. Kate Corwin and the impressive Green Works staff are making a difference in the lives of students in Kansas City. Their work is inspiring and makes me feel better about our future workforce.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member over the last two years, I've witnessed firsthand the impact Green Works has had on Kansas City's urban youth. Their job development programs provide critical life skills that translate in to some incredible internship opportunities. And Green Works focus on environmental education addresses a huge need by exposing kids to all the wonders the natural world . The passion Green Works' staff and leadership brings to these programs has been truly inspiring.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being a part of Green Works has jump-started my career as an engineer. I have been a part of Green Works since I was a junior in high school, now I am a freshman in college. In the program I learned the importance of maintaining the environment and I learned new things in that class every day. I also got to be in a commercial for water quality to educate the community on why not to litter. If it wasn't for Green Works I wouldn't have the experience of interning at an engineering firm called HNTB. Through this internship I got to meet influential members of the community Mayor Sly James, State Representative Randy Dunn, and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority CEO Joe Reardon. Being a part of this program is a once in a lifetime chance and if I could go back I would have signed up as a freshman.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Jasmine Herrera and I am currently a senior at Alta Vista high school. I was fortunate enough to hear about Green Works by Charlotte and was instantly interested in the type of career building they helped with. One of my biggest challenges before coming to Green Works was being unsure of what I wanted to do for my career. Charlotte helped guide me by doing personality tests and exercises to figure out what I want to do which is becoming a fire fighter after college. Thanks to Green Works, I can say I really know myself and know what I will do with my life.

1 Ana R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Ana Rios. I am a current high school senior at Alta Vista Charter High School. At this point in school is time to start thinking about what we want to pursue. Green Works has been an amazing help that has help me be ready for the journey that is coming ahead. I've always been a shy person and many times is because I think that I am not able to maintain a conversation going because of my English level. However, Green Works has greatly impacted how I see my challenges because I have learn that it's those challenges that help stand out. In Green Works I have learn a lot about public speaking skills that have help me feel more comfortable talking to new people about my goals and challenges.

Roxana R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Roxana and I am a Senior at Alta Vista Charter High School. I'm interested in biochemistry but I never had the confidence to be sure. Green Works while helping develop my professional skills offered me an internship in a college suited to biomedical sciences. This internship will set me into the right path and help me gain the confidence I am lacking.

Sayra F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Sayra Ferman and I am a Senior at Alta Vista Charter High School. This non-profit organization has helped and continues helping me to develop my life skills and to have the opportunity to know more about myself. It has help me to prepare for the future and how to get things done without being so stressed. In this course I've improved in my public speaking skill, a skill that is essential if you want to get a job. Also, this organization not only assist me with my life skills, but also it provides me with opportunities to get a job that assist me with my future career.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Katherine Villalta, I'm a senior at Alta Vista Charter High School and was introduced to this program by Charlotte. My biggest challenge through out high school was public speaking and not knowing what field to pursue after high school. Through out this program, I was guided through the struggles I faced and learned how to speak to the public without nervously moving and shaking.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is David and before green works i was trying to find a start to my future career. Being able to be apart of Green Works was a good experience. Before coming to green works my interview skills, resume, and speech was bad, but being in this program it strengthened all those things. What green works did for me was push me towards what career I wanted to do. They introduced me to new people who i now have connections with. Not only did they just teach you but at the end they offered me a internship in the path of my career choice.

Alicia F.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am Alicia Florez and I currently am a senior at Alta Vista Charter High School. Before I had Green Works I really struggled with public speaking and being really passive when speaking to strangers. Everyone in my class at Green Works really pushed me to become more comfortable talking with others by giving me advice on my projection and having confidence in my words. Now, after Green Works I have no problem going in front of a crowd of people and speaking, and I also have no problem starting a conversation with a stranger.

Edith R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Edith and I'm a senior in High School. I have always been an indecisive person that had no idea what I wanted to do career wise. So when I heard about Green Works I applied immediately because I wanted to find what I was passionate about. The Green Works training helped me narrow down my career interests to Environmental Law. Thanks to Green Works I was able to obtain an environmental law internship.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a junior at Northeast High School. I took Excelerate for my very first time this year. Before coming to Excelerate I'd never talked to a group of unknown people. It was a new experience I had here at Excelerate. Charlotte our teacher taught not only me but a few other students how to feel comfortable speaking with people that we don't know. Also because of Green Works i have the opportunity to work in carpentry which is the career I'm looking forward to.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I am Kelsea a sophomore at East High School. I have been involved with the Green Works Program for two years now, ECOS last year and Excelerate and ECOS this year. I never had experience with public speaking or interviewing skills before, I never even had a resume, but now I am great with public speaking and interviewing, and have such a great long resume. At first, honestly I just joined for the checks they give out for coming to the class. But now I come because I really enjoy it! I love learning about the environment what I can personally do to help out. I have learned more about what I put in my body and how to keep a healthy clean environmental safe home. Now because of Green Works, I am about to have my first job and I have so much knowledge about a good healthy lifestyle and have learned how to better care for myself my home my garden and my community. Both of these programs are very helpful and can and will help you in any future career goals that you may have. I will personally recommend these programs to anyone who ask me about them, they are fun and very helpful.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a junior at Hogan High school. I run track. I have been involved in Green Works Excelerate for two years. Before Green Works I didn't know how important it was to recycle. I also have never talked to anyone about my career. In ECOS program we did a lot of recycling projects we also went to a landfill, restore habitat. In Excelerate I talked to professionals about what I want to do for my career. Because of Green Works I now recycle, I experienced public speaking, I love learning new things about my environment.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I served as the evaluator of the first year of services by Green Works of Kansas City. The outcomes from this hands-on, experiential learning and workforce development nonprofit agency were highly successful. They ranged from major attitudinal and behavioral changes supporting the environment and quality of life for the teen participants to an average gain of several grade levels in science achievement over that of the control group. We know from research that experiential learning is the most effective way to teach all levels of learners, but we rarely find the systems in place for urban teens to learn science and workforce skills in such enriched learning settings that Green Works creates. What is most important to me is the dedication of founder Kate Corwin and her cadre of staff and volunteers to young people getting onto the ladder of success through quality career education, meaningful science-based learning, hands-on workforce internships and community education. I have become an enthusiastic supporter and donor of Green Works as one of the most worthy nonprofits I can support to benefit underserved teens and to diversify and widen the science careers pipeline in regional Kansas City.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I loved the boat ride on the Missouri River. Thank you for the awesome experience! - Karla

Review from Guidestar

1 Gerald S.

Donor

Rating: 5

Green Works is a small nonprofit with a truly sustainable impact

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I conducted an evaluation of Green Works (as a volunteer) that used Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping to learn from students how participating in Green Works helps them meet their goals. Students drew maps to show how Green Works programs is leading them to success. They could define their own goals - most were along the lines of going to college or employment - often both. From the students' perspective, Green Works is building their social capital, helping them feel comfortable in work environments, helping them understand how to manage the money they earn through internships, environmental stewardship, and helping them cultivate what they called a service ethic. Green Works makes a big difference in the lives of urban teens and young adults.

Donor

Rating: 5

With a pecuniary outlook, I read "Green Works" as a sentence. Green is currency... cash. Nothing motivates like the promise of success and, for most of us, success and monetary payment are one and the same. Green Works strives to connect persons too young to have tasted success with a real paycheck for the first time by doing work that is clearly worthwhile after helping them learn why and how it IS worthwhile. And then helping them stay their course. Is that worth supporting? Or what!

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I began working with Green Works in 2010 and I really enjoyed every aspect that was covered. From environmental awareness, pollution, to job opportunities and meeting great people to help with furthering career choices, Green Works was a huge help. Not only did I learn so much about preserving the Earth but I was given a mentor with my exact career interest along with summer internshipd. Expanding this program seems ideal because of its great help for teens in the community. Now, at age 21, I still am connected with multiple contacts through Green Works and I love the involvement with such a helpful and educational program. Definitely would recommend others to get into it.