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Our Results

Kauffman Scholars

Where We’re Going

Kauffman Scholars’ work is guided by the program mission and vision:

Mission: Assisting urban students in Kansas City to become college and career ready, increasing their chances for overall postsecondary success.

Vision: A pipeline of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement and diversification of Kansas City.

In supporting our alumni while working alongside community, business, and industry partners, Kauffman Scholars implements programming and initiatives with the goal of leveling the playing field and engaging in equitable solutions so that all young professionals of color will thrive in our region.

Kauffman Scholars

Talent – rEDI – Work.

talent - rEDI - work

At Kauffman Scholars, we are committed to better understanding the career landscape our graduates are returning to in Kansas City. Across the region, there is an increased emphasis on developing a diverse pipeline. Our contribution to retaining that talent is the implementation of support systems for emerging leaders and the workforce.

We envision a Kansas City where graduates and young professionals possess the skills necessary to thrive in their careers, authentically. Simultaneously, it is imperative that employers and organizations cultivate inclusive workplace environments that meet the unique and specific needs of diverse talent. “Work ready talent” needs “talent rEDI work.”

Watch: “Imagine … Talent rEDI Work” | 1:26

Young Professionals of Color


In summer 2017, Kauffman Scholars conducted a research project focused on young professionals of color in Kansas City. The findings provided a baseline informing programming aimed at supporting the personal and professional development of young professionals of color.

Through literature review, focus groups, case studies, and personal accounts from Kauffman Scholar alumni, we gained new insights that confirmed the need for supporting young professionals as they transitioned from college to career. The Young Professionals of Color Kansas City (YPoC-KC) initiative was launched as a direct response to the findings.

YPoC-KC was designed to create a safe space and network for emerging leaders. Recurring convenings provide opportunities for leadership and professional development, networking, and community building. Programming examples include The Power of Diverse Branding, Network with YPoC-KC, and Authentic Self in the Workplace.

Through the community created as a result of YPoC-KC, participants share experiences relative to navigating the personal and professional experience in Kansas City. Attendees are also able to develop and enhance skills to promote success in the workplace.

Each event sold out at over 120 registrants, with many of the attendees not connected to the Kauffman Scholars program. We are excited for the momentum this programming has created in Kansas City, and our goal is to continue to host one program a quarter on various topics that are important to young, diverse professionals.

The Workplace Forum

The Workplace

What if every company and organization in our region valued diversity of thought, background, ethnicity, and sexual orientation?

What if we were brave with our values and honest with our truth?

What if we were the best place in the Midwest for young professionals of color to flourish?

What if…?

Current efforts to create a diverse workforce focused on talent being prepared to navigate companies and organizations – this is only one side of the equation. Kauffman Scholars provides a safe space for businesses and institutions to share and learn best practices to become a more inclusive workplace to support and develop professionals of color.

Launched in 2018, The Workplace: A Forum Supporting Young Professionals of Color coincides with the Kauffman Scholars J.I.V.E. Fair. It convenes hundreds of industry recruiters, HR administrators, and diversity and inclusion professionals to discuss challenges and opportunities to supporting and retaining a diverse labor force. Young professionals share first-hand experiences navigation their personal and professional journeys.

This space also provides an opportunity to learn from other cities and initiatives that are successfully tackling similar efforts.

Kauffman Scholars

Alumni Association

Scholar to Alumni Transition

All active Kauffman Scholars transition to alumni status when they hit one or more of the following program markers:

  • Graduate with a terminal undergraduate degree (AA, certificate, BA, or BS).
  • Surpass the five year postsecondary scholarship window.
  • Enter a branch of the U.S. military and/or enter a policy academy in full-time status.

Each scholar works closely with both their coach and the Career & Alumni Program team during their transitional year to ensure continued engagement and program support as they transition to the workforce.

Watch: “2019 Alumna Profile” | 4:35
Watch: “Graduation Celebration 2019 Video” | 2:04

The Four Pillars of Alumni Engagement

Build a spirit of stewardship and community with fellow alumni.

Support opportunities for alumni to develop as young professionals and leaders.

4 pillars of alumni engagement KSI

Invest in local causes that honor the legacy of Mr. Ewing Marion Kauffman.

Share in the creation of the Kauffman Scholars legacy.

Our Kauffman Scholars Alumni Association is centered around intentional programming and opportunities for community building among our alumni both near and far.

The four pillars of alumni engagement serve as programmatic anchors for all alumni engagement activities.

Kauffman Scholars Alumni Leadership Council

The Kauffman Scholars Alumni Leadership Council (KSALC) is a community leadership experience open to all alumni who live and work in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

As a collective, the council assists with, and contributes to, the strategic matters concerning Kauffman Scholars alumni engagement and outreach. Each council member serves 1-2 years. Annual recruitment and applications are completed each fall.

For questions about KSALC, contact us >

Kauffman Scholars Alumni Connect

KSI Alumni Connect serves as our online alumni social networking and engagement platform.

Alumni can connect with fellow alums, browse our local jobs board, and learn about the latest events and opportunities.

Kauffman Scholars

Our Results

Kauffman Scholars alumni play an integral role in the continued legacy and lasting impact of the Kauffman Scholars, Inc. program. As key stakeholders of the mission and vision in action, our hope is that each alum feels a connection to the legacy of Ewing Marion Kauffman as they return to Kansas City post-graduation to live, work, and contribute to our community.

Kauffman Scholars Quick Facts

Kauffman Scholars quick facts
  • 2568: Total number of students admitted into the program beginning in 7th grade (the 8th and final cohort was admitted into the program in 2011).
  • 1309: Total number of students who persisted from high school to college.
  • 520: Total number of active program alumni (anticipate over 800 alumni by 2022).
  • 51%: Current percentage of students who earned a postsecondary credential post high school graduation.
  • 78%: Percentage of the most recent alumni cohort with a positive career outcome within six months of postsecondary completion.
  • 75%: Percentage of the most recent graduation cohort with a positive career outcome and resides in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Watch: “The Next Chapter – Kauffman Scholars Giving Back” | 4:39

Current Scholars

Below are some statistics on the active scholars currently receiving scholarship support:

  • 386 total scholars in college (final cohort will graduate in 2022).
  • 51 different institutions across 17 states.
  • 90% of scholars attend a network institution.
  • Average scholarship award = $17,801 (2018-19 academic year).

For additional inquiries regarding our program results, please reach out to us directly >