City Year is one of several programs supported by the Kauffman Foundation that engages young professionals in urban schools in Kansas City
Anyone who works in a school setting is serving. Serving the community, serving the future, serving humanity. Anyone who works in a school likely goes to work every day with the idealistic belief that they have the power to change the world. Crazy? Maybe. Difficult? Absolutely. We are building our future workforce on the notion that people will get up every day and go to work to serve. We want more people to not only choose to serve in Kansas City, but to fall in love with what it has to offer and ultimately, stay.
At the Kauffman Foundation, we are always working to find ways to attract, develop, and retain the best teachers and leaders in Kansas City. In the past year, we have invested heavily in pipeline programs that are focused on inspiring locally and recruiting nationally. We support City Year, The Literacy Lab, Missouri College Advising Corps, the Kansas City Teacher Residency, and Teach For America. With these programs, there will be approximately 170 young mentors and educators serving schools in our community each year. Now we need to KEEP them here. We need them to stay and serve our students so that our education system can be as world-class as our city.
Kansas City is a hidden gem for young education professionals. In fact, The Huffington Post named Kansas City “THE place to be.” Erik Wullschleger, director of LiveKC, agrees. “Our city’s brand has never been stronger, in part due to employment opportunities at large corporations, a burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem, nationally recognized dining establishments and winning sports teams, just to name a few,” he wrote on the LiveKC website. “Now is the time to double down, engaging the citizens of KC to get off of the couch and be a part of what makes us attractive to outsiders.” The educators who are already here have formed a community where they work together, play together, and even create startup companies together.
So what are the best things to do in Kansas City that we could share with prospective educators? To start off, I recommend stopping by The Lean Lab to hear innovative pitches from “edupreneurs” or signing up for a tour of local schools hosted by Show Me KC Schools. From there, you could grab a cup of coffee at the Roasterie, take a walk through the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and then catch an afternoon Royals game at Kauffman Stadium (yes, we like the name). When you bump into any of these young people in your children’s classrooms or around town, make sure they know we appreciate what they are doing and give them your best KC “don’t miss” KC recommendation.
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Corey Scholes is a director of Education for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she advises the Foundation on strategic program initiatives and opportunities related to youth education.
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