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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 high school 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 have taught 280 urban high school students about Kansas City’s most serious environmental issues. - We have funded over 12,000 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: 60 students

Geographic areas served: Kansas City's urban neighborhoods

Programs: environmental education, workforce development and community engagement.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a part of Green Works has jumped started my career as an engineer. I have been apart 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 everyday. 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. Like Mayor Sly James, State Representative Randy Dunn, and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority CEO Joe Reardon. Being apart of this program is a once in a lifetime chance and if I could go back I would have signed up as a freshman.

1

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!

2

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have two sons who participated in Green Works programming. They learned a lot about the environment and shared what they learned with our family, but also our friends and neighbors. After the solid waste unit they went up and down our street encouraging neighbors to participate in curbside recycling. Now our street is littered with blue bins on trash day! Along with the environmental knowledge they both gained significant confidence and improved their soft skills during their internships. One of my sons is currently in college, and the other is successfully employed. His employer told me that the internship experience was the reason he got an interview. I am so grateful for the life-changing experiences Green Works provided for my sons!

Donor

Rating: 5

Green Works in Kansas City has changed the lives of many young people as well as their friends and family. And it will continue to have a positive effect on future generations. I have supported this fine organization from its inception and am impressed over and over again by its founder, the students, and the board.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known Kate for years. She has brought her own personal values to this organization, consisting of integrity, sense of community, inspiration, and grit. This organization does tremendous work to help the youth of this city, truly making a difference in the lives of others, the community and the planet. I am pleased and inspired to be able to support Kate in helping make Kansas City an even better city!

Donor

Rating: 5

I met Kate several years ago and learned about Green Works. What an impressive organization for youth to learn the benefits of preserving the environment. I have supported it for several years and cannot think of a better endeavor to endorse!

Lou Eisenbrandt

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter, Kara, was a participant in Greenworks during the 2014-2015 school year. This program has helped reinforce in her a deeper desire to use our planet and its resources responsibly. The classes were interesting. But the field trips that showed the students what really happens to our trash, the impact of plastic bottles, how delicate our water cycle is is what makes this program so amazing. We are very pleased. Thank you, Greenworks.

5 Terri64

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Green Works in Kansas City since Kate Corwin founded the agency and I am extremely impressed by how far this small nonprofit has come in eight short years!

From the beginning, Kate has placed a priority on establishing programs that will result in tangible outcomes intended to help Green Works participating students learn about the environment AND gain the skills they need to be productive adults - how to create and manage a budget ... how to write a resume and interview for a job ... how to determine what careers are best suited to their interests and talents ... how to conserve water, not litter and maintain this great city we call home ... how to be be interested in the world, to ask questions and become involved.

It is true that Green Works only impacts a small number of students - but that number grows every year - and while the number may be fewer than other well-funded agencies - Green Works commits to working with their students for two years (at a minimunm) and it is this commitment that allows them to produce fabulous results! Just read some of the students testimonials included here.

Not only does Green Works produce fabulous outcomes, but under Kate's stewardship, they run a financially lean organization. When you donate to Green Works, you know your dollar is being used prudently to advance the mission. Many other large funders know it too - the EPA, Audubon Society, the Shumaker Family Foundation, State Farm, KCP&L, Whole Foods, the United Way and many other organizations that have high standards for their philanthropic dollars. You can trust your charitable investment to Green Works!

I still don't know why more people don't know about this great organization and I hope that by sharing my enthusiasm for Green Works' programs, others will feel compelled to help share the story about this truly great nonprofit.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been in Green works since my freshman year of high school and I'm currently in my junior year of high school. Being in Green Works has been a wonderful opportunity and I'm so glad I signed up for the program. Green Works has had a huge impact on my life and my academic career. I've learned a lot of things about different topics. From water pollution to how to budget my money in a real life situation. I've become good friends with the other students in the program and I've developed a large network through this program. I earned a paid summer intership at a boutique through Green Works and I loved it! I gained experience and it's something else I can add to my resume! I encouraged some of my friends to join the program and they enjoyed the program as well. I will continue to recommend this program to my peers. This is such a great program to be apart of and I hope it continues to grow and help students achieve success.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love working with Green Works! I worked for three different companies during the summers and I've met so many influential, reliable people to network with! I am on my way to college working for a health care clinic that would look great on my resume, thanks to Green Works in Kansas City! I would never regret signing the form to join something so spectacular. I will never forget the boat ride on the Missouri/Kansas River, the first time I've rode in a canoe, or even my first time holding a snake! I highly recommend this organization to any student who lacks networking, communication, and overall exposure to a friendly, resourceful environment!
Thank You Kate!!!

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Green Works is a great organization, filled with exciting opportunities for young teens in the Kansas City Urban Area. Green Works does many different engaging programs, so that the young teens can get involved and really help their community in many different ways, such as planting trees along Brush Creek, or weeding out community gardens, so that the community around them can eat from it and be happy. I have learned many different things from this program, such as a more complex and in depth understanding of the many weather cycles of the world, to making and creating my own resume that I will use for my entire life. This program does wonders for those who take the time to participate in it. Green Works can also give you the opportunity to have internships during the summer. I have had two internships so far, and I've really enjoyed both of them quite a bit. The exposure and the connections that you obtain with those internships are really amazing and can help teens become future successful adults. None of this would be possible without Green Works and I truly appreciate this program.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I appreciate Green Works because it's engaging students in science curriculum that is relevant to their lives. They are grappling with sustainability issues now as teens which will lay the foundation with how they grapple with these very real issues as adult voters and community members. Green Works is equipping young people to see complexity and thoughtfully consider one's impact and role in the world.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Greenworks KC for a number of years and have been very impressed by the ability of the organization to engage urban youth. Not only is Greenworks KC successful in involving students in service projects which improve the quality of the environment in and around Kansas City, the organization also provides them with opportunities to attend planning meetings and other events where the students advocate for their community.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I've had the privilege of meeting several students who have participated in the programs at Green Works. I was so impressed by their passion to improve the environment and educate their communities. They were truly inspiring and reflect the passion and commitment of founder, Kate Corwin. Green Works makes a huge difference in the lives of so many in our community and I am proud to be a supporter.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Green Works in Kansas City is a terrific program that educates youth in the urban core around green practice and awareness. I have supported the program due to its meangingful vision and practical approach to education, training and job placement in the green industry. Focusing on the urban core is key to developing environmental practice in the Kansas City metro. Seeing youth progress through job training and placement is a great joy. I am happy to support Green Works In Kansas City!

Diane Patrick
kansas City Missouri

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Participating in Green Works in Kansas City is satisfying in a variety of ways, because our efforts (and Kate Corwin's amazing vision) has a ripple effect through the community. With Green Works Kansas City we have a holistic approach to not only learning, but to the environment, the economy, city government, the community, the nation and the planet. Students learn how these forces are all innerrelated, how one effects the other, etc. This is an education that some wait a lifetime for and these kids are getting it in highschool. Despite the challenges these kids face, the information is getting in their heads, and it will remain there and they can teach others as well.