Thanks to everyone (including Karla) who helped us raise over $14,000 for Green Works and take advantage of the generous matching donation opportunity from Ryan and Heather Bresette! We’re looking forward to a lot of new growth opportunities in 2017. Thank you for helping us kick off the New Year on such a positive note.
Last winter Mary and Kate met with Shawnee Mission East students who were researching Green Works for a program called Junior Board. In the spring we were in attendance at the high school when four different groups of students gave presentations on their chosen nonprofit. The students presenting on Green Works won second price! And that resulted in a $1500 cash gift we received last week during a Shawnee Mission East pep rally. Thanks so much to our student team – Iman, Natalie, Hazel, Jacob, Juliana and Owen. We appreciate your interest and your support of Green Works!
On Friday our staff met with Kevin Gamble who presented us with a $10,000 grant from State Farm. We are so grateful for their ongoing support. State Farm supports all our programs including environmental education, service learning, workforce development and financial literacy. We received our first grant from State Farm in 2009. Green Works is growing and thriving because of our long-term funders like State Farm!
We are so honored to have been selected by 100 Women Who Care – Cedar Creek for their winter donation! Mary and I met several of the group yesterday morning for a check presentation. We’re excited to attend the next meeting in May so we can let them know how we used their contribution to make a difference for our students!
We are excited to share that Green Works won a $3,000 grant from the Yelp Foundation, thanks to votes from community members in the Yelp Foundation Gives Local grant contest! Thank you so much to everyone who voted and supported us. This grant will go a long way towards our work educating urban youth and helping them transition from high school into post-secondary education and the workforce. #YFGivesLocal
Our founder, Kate Corwin and Mike Buster had the winning design for the new KCMO storm drain manhole covers! The design includes rock art animals to remind people of the Native Americans and their respect for the environment.
We hope this new design helps people remember that whatever is on the ground ends up in our waters. And what ends up in our water ultimately ends up in us.
Exciting news — We’ve been selected to compete for a grant of up to $5k from the Yelp Foundation! #yfgiveslocal.
Community votes will determine the winner of the Yelp Foundation grant. You can show your support by voting for Green Works at this link, every day through Dec 15, 2015. Winners will be announced the week of January 4th, 2016.
We’re currently in second place. The extra $1,000 we would win if we can maintain our position would pay the costs for another urban youth to have a life-changing summer internship! It takes just a minute to vote. Thank you!
Through the end of September, when you visit the Whole Foods at 91st and Metcalf and take your own bags, you can choose Green Works for your bag donation. Thanks to everyone who has already taken part, we’ve raised $400 so far. Eat well, and keep those bag donations coming!
A couple of years ago, a soft-spoken young woman named Tenesha signed up for Green Works programming. On her application, Tenesha wrote that science was her least favorite subject and she admitted that the environmental topics were of little interest to her. But as the year progressed, she became more confident and actively engaged in group activities, sharing her ideas and thoughts. Tenesha now refers to the ECOS class as “fun, real-life science, not boring school science.” She adds, “Math and Science are still my least favorite subjects in school. But, I like them in real life.”
This past year Tenesha participated in our second-year Green Future program where she researched growing careers that aligned with her interests and ability. She created career plans for three careers that all involved working directly with people, in a customer-service type capacity. When the opportunity to place an intern at Nature’s Own Health Market came up, I knew it would be a perfect fit for Tenesha.
Tenesha and I went for the interview and Tenesha told Lottie and Jeff that while she was really excited to work at Nature’s Own, she wasn’t comfortable running the cash register. It wouldn’t be a problem though – there were plenty of other things to do like stocking shelves, handing out samples, helping customers and sacking.
Two weeks into her internship, I stopped by to take a photo of Tenesha. She had just finished creating a Fourth of July display. As soon as I told her I wanted to take a photo she jumped on the cash register and started checking out customers. Of course I was surprised and asked her about it. She just smiled and said “it turns out it isn’t so hard after all.” I was so proud!
Tenesha is doing better in school because of her involvement with Green Works, and she has gained confidence and new skills. Like her, nine other Green Works students have been placed in internships this summer. The experiences they gain change their lives. And there is data to back this up. Studies report that summer internships not only increase academic performance, but improve future job success and earnings for up to 15 years after high school graduation.
In fact, we’ve just found out that Tenesha has been offered a regular part-time job with Nature’s Own! So stop by Nature’s Own and congratulate her.
Come join us on Wednesday (Earth Day) at Athleta on the Plaza @Athleta_KC from 6-8pm. We’ll be educating customers about the impacts of polystyrene using our student’s latest art exhibit, and a portion of proceeds will benefit Green Works!