Youth-Oriented Programs

These are COMBAT-funded programs with a youth-oriented emphasis or component.

AileyCamp & AileyCamp The Group

KANSAS CITY FRIENDS OF ALVIN AILEY PROGRAM -- AileyCamp/AileyCamp The Group is a well-established, innovative summer and after-school hours youth violence prevention program. The program has a proven record of measurable success, particularly with underserved youth and youth of color. KCFAA uses the arts coupled with intensive personal development curriculum driven by the research-informed, violence prevention, empathy curriculum of the Oakland Men’s Project, “How to stop the violence that tears our lives apart” and creative writing classes in the implementation of AileyCamp/AileyCamp the Group. KCFAA programming makes constructive learning activities opportunities for students to form enduring, supportive relationships with adults (educators, parents, family members, guardians). AileyCamp/AileyCamp The Group benefit youth from low-income households in historically undeserved communities identified as hotspots and who experience or are at high risk for adverse childhood experiences.

Amethyst Place Prevention Prgrams

AMETHYST PLACE PROGRAM -- Prevention programming is delivered through Amethyst Place's Family Empowerment and Therapeutic Support Programs. The Family Empowerment Program provides prevention services related to child abuse (e.g. Parent Cafes, Strengthening Families, and Conscious Discipline programming), domestic violence (e.g. Healthy Relationships programming), drug use prevention (e.g. recovery coaching and meetings, Caring for Kids prevention), ex­offenders and violence (e.g. court advocacy), parenting and family interventions (e.g. Parent Cafes, Strengthening Families, and Conscious Discipline). The Therapeutic Support Program helps families heal from past trauma, stabilize mental health and improve parenting skills. Amethyst Place serves Jackson County mothers and children overcoming generational poverty, substance use, and trauma. In 2020, this included residential services provided to 50 women and 103 children, as well as 55 program graduates in aftercare services.

Arts@UICS - Child Centered Creativity

UNITED INNER CITY SERVICES PROGRAM -- Arts@UICS Child Centered Creativity (C-3) is an art-focused behavioral intervention program developed to expand exposure to the arts while providing behavioral health supports for students. The program uses lay art therapy practices to support children who are exhibiting maladaptive behaviors in the classroom. C-3 provides students designated time in the arts to work on social skills and build confidence in small groups or individually with a teacher. Based on documented observations, students who have participated in C-3 have decreased disruptive and withdrawn behaviors in the classroom. Arts@UICS aligns with several of COMBAT’s Anti-Violence Areas of Focus, including 1) programs that work with victims of violence, including families experiencing domestic violence; 2) high-risk students identified by schools; 3) children of incarcerated parents; and 4) programs that address bullying—including targets of bullying and those bullying others.

ArtsTech's Integrated Arts Violence Prevention

ARTSTECH PROGRAM -- This ArtsTech uses a multi-pronged approach to reducing/eliminating violence and substance abuse among our most troubled, at-risk youth and in identified violence “hot spot” neighborhoods. Using the evidence-based techniques identified by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), ArtsTech seeks to prevent violence and accompanying substance abuse by providing strength-based strategies of youth development. The recommendations from the CDC's review of best practices are infused in all our youth development programming and includes culturally specific and relevant strategies based on the unique needs of the urban core and minority youth. ArtsTech incorporates five core competencies: 1) positive sense of self, 2) self-control, 3) decision-making skills, 4) a moral system of belief, and 5) prosocial connectedness that are linked to a healthy child/teen/young adult.

Blue Springs COPS Program

BLUE SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT PROGRAM -- The Community Outreach Prevention Strategies (COPS) program addresses children and families’ mental health needs, as well as crime and violence prevention and substance abuse prevention, with the focus on youth, family and the community. Counselors conduct assessments on all individuals to identify their needs, formulate a plan that is appropriate for the situation that COPS offer, including counseling, case management, mentoring and consulting. Counselors will meet with individuals at their location, schools, outreach locations or office. Officers and counselors lead decision making classes consisting of supportive parenting, racial-bias, healthy relationships, impulse control, personal safety, legal awareness, and drug and alcohol groups. Participants may be appropriately assigned a community services day, Girls on Fire program or the Life Sports program, which is conducted by Blue Springs Police Department’s officers and counselors.

Bridge Anti-Bullying & Life Skills Program

BRIDGE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY PROGRAM -- The Bridge Youth Violence Prevention Program (The Bridge YVP) is designed to prevent and reduce factors that put youth at risk of witnessing a violent crime, being a victim of violence and/or making unhealthy choices. The program consists of a series of life skills and leadership development workshops designed to help students develop and employ healthy strategies when dealing with conflicts in everyday life. Workshops topics include communication strategies, goal setting, healthy relationships, positive self-talk, basic self-care and healthy coping mechanisms. The Bridge also provides on-site psychologists who facilitate counseling sessions to address trauma, anxiety and stress, empowering youth to develop behaviors that foster safe and healthy environments for themselves.

DeLaSalle Violence Prevention

DELASALLE EDUCATION CENTER PROGRAM -- DeLaSalle’s Violence Prevention program is a multifaceted approach to Prevention, Intervention, and Restoration to best serve DeLaSalle’s students. DeLaSalle’s proactive approach to violence prevention includes offering on-site programming with support from Camp Fire Heartland and school-initiated strategies during school hours as well as after school hours—with off-site programming at organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and having staff or mentors dedicated to be available and/or respond immediately to situations at all times of the day, night, or weekends. Programs offered during the hours from school dismissal to the evening will provide positive interactions with other students and adults, as opposed to these hours often being the times students are most susceptible to negative influences in their lives. In addition, DeLaSalle will teach to the socio-emotional competencies that are life long and all day skills.

Eastern Jackson County Schools Collaborative

BLUE SPRINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT PROGRAM -- The Eastern Jackson County Schools Collaborative of Greater Kansas City (EJCSC-GKC) is a joint effort among the school districts of Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, and Lone Jack for the purpose of addressing the prevention of violence among our youth and families in Eastern Jackson County. All school-aged children within the collaborative who are identified to be at risk of violence, either to themselves or others, are eligible for services. All prevention services are guided by the Blue Sprigns School District's psychologist, who acts as the Prevention Services and Drug Abatement Coordinator (PSDAC).

FosterAdopt Connect Youth Project

FOSTERADOPT CONNECT PROGRAM -- The rate of homelessness for children who age-out of foster care is alarming. Nationally, 1 in 5 children who age-out of care becomes homeless. In Jackson County, that rate increases to 1 in 4. The amount of time foster care alumni live on the streets averages 27½ months compared to 19.3 months for those who had no foster care history. Additionally, 50% of former foster youth who aged out of foster care will be unemployed by the age of 24. Community Connections Youth Project is a voluntary case management program offered by FosterAdopt Connect to serve older foster youth and young adults who recently aged-out of foster care (ages 17-26). The overall goal of the program is to connect clients to services and resources they need to be successful as adults, and to mitigate many of the circumstances that lead to negative lifetime outcomes for people who have experienced significant childhood trauma.

Helping Youth Plan For Excellence

CALVARY COMMUNITY OUTREACH NETWORK PROGRAM -- The Calvary Community Outreach Network will expand the Helping Youth Plan for Excellence (HYPE) program to provide Trauma Assessment and treatment/referral services aimed at improving the well-being of youth. YYPE will provide additional after-school and evening classes that integrate STEM, Visual & Performing Arts, Nutrition and Healthy Living practice. In addition, Calvary Community will convene and mobilize a Congregational Action Group empowering congregations located in "Hot Spot" Zones to help reduce violence in their neighborhoods through targeted activities.

Hickman Mills Hope Hangout

HICKMAN MILLS PREVENTION COALITION -- The project provides supportive services for students at high risk of violence or affected by violence between 12 – 20 years of age and their families who are from the Universal, Selected, and Indicated populations to the Hangout within Hickman Mills School District's Burke Academy. Students are reffered by the school district, KCPD South Patrol, Youth Court and Family Court. Due to Covid-19, the students are being assigned to Hope Hangout for virtual and physical support every day of the week (with the exception of Sunday) through the school year and four days a week during the summer. The hours Monday through Friday are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and noon to 3:00 p.m. on most Saturdays. Hope Hangout offers academic support, mental health support, youth leadership development, parenting classes and mentoring, and a safe space to dwell daily in South Kansas City.

High Aspirations Violence Prevention

HIGH ASPIRATIONS PROGRAM -- Nearly 90% of the High Aspirations’ program participants reside in or adjacent to COMBAT-defined “hot spots.” Considering the frequent changes in address for these young men and boys, most if not all, will at some point in a calendar year reside in, near or travel through these hot spots frequently. A challenge facing HA participants is the competition between life reality (present) and life possibilities (future forward looking). HA endeavors to intervene early in the lives of youth, providing them with the positive influence of a mentor, peer support, academic assistance and leadership building tools to combat persistent negative influences. The challenges, barriers and needs of the Black young men and boys served by HA are many. HA is offering evidence-based, proven successful interventions and activities that lift these boys and young men (8-18), surrounding them with protective factors and encouraging, Higher Aspirations.

Independence Youth Court Peer Diversion

INDEPENDENCE YOUTH COURT PROGRAM -- The high rates of juveniles involved in criminal activities in Jackson County create an increased risk factor associated with violent behaviors and alcohol and drug use for teens. The Independence Youth Court (IYC) exists to hold juvenile offenders accountable for delinquent behaviors; to provide positive peer-led restorative justice, which promotes leadership and positive youth behavior; to increase juvenile offenders knowledge and enhance refusal skills to avoid criminal behavior, including drug use and violent activities; and to reduce repeated criminal behavior and involvement in the juvenile criminal justice system.

KC Public Schools Defy The Odds

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS PROGRAM -- Kansas City Public Schools is partnering with the Kansas City Police Department’s Gang Intelligence Squad, the Mattie Rhodes Center and the Center for Conflict Resolution to offer the Defying the Odds program in the Northeast neighborhood. The program’s focus will be on more than 350 students identified as being 100 times more likely—than the average American—to have their lives be touched by violence. Each of these students will be placed in a one-to-one mentoring program, and all the students in the Northeast schools will be involved in activities to help mitigate the risks of them being the victim or perpetrator of violence. The training will also be made available to parents and the surrounding neighborhood.

Mattie Rhodes Violence & Intervention

MATTIE RHODES CENTER -- The Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) program at Mattie Rhodes Center (MRC) focuses on promoting protective factors, facilitating multicomponent interventions and mobilizing community-wide strategies that mediate the risk factors of violence. The goal is to reduce violence and educate the participants in positive life-skills, conflict resolution tactics, cultural awarenes and community appreciation to instill self-esteem, hope, and purpose to the youth and families in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast community. VIP targets three tiers of youth in the Northeast neighborhood; 1) youth under the age of 18 residing/attending school in the Historic Northeast, 2) at-risk youth living in a high-risk community, and lastly 3) youth who have begun to display delinquent behavior and are at high-risk of entering the juvenile justice system.

MINDDRIVE's STEM Educational Programs

MINDDRIVE, INC. PROGRAM -- Since 2010 MINDDRIVE has offered a STEM project-based, experiential-learning program to underserved, at-risk, culturally diverse teens (14-18 years old) in Kansas City's urban core. The purpose of the program is to provide technical and vocational skills, teamwork, critical thinking, structure, planning, process, success/failure, accomplishment and leadership opportunities in an environment supported by adult volunteer mentors and facilitators. The program has been expanding nearly every, with MINDDRIVE double the number of schools its programming in 2020-21.

Night Light Curfew Program

JACKSON COUNTY FAMILY COURT -- The Night Light Program (NLP) is utilized to assist primary Juvenile Probation Officers in maintaining or stabilizing youth in the community by conducting late night curfew checks, encouraging compliance and community safety through the law enforcement presence in various communities of Jackson County. Evening and late-night operations occur between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. at a rate of five to seven nights per week.

Project SAFE

ROSE BROOKS CENTER PROGRAM -- Project SAFE is Rose Brooks Center’s school-based violence prevention program for children in preschool through 12th grade in Jackson County. Project SAFE carries out Rose Brooks’ mission to end the cycle of domestic violence by reaching at-risk youth in grades pre-K through 12th before they make the life choices that can reproduce the cycle of violence. The program helps students develop resiliency tools and skills necessary to avoid future violence perpetration or victimization. Rose Brooks Center first offered school-based prevention in 1997 in response to schools’ requests to support children with domestic violence trauma. For over 40 years, Rose Brooks Center has provided shelter and supportive services to adults and children impacted by domestic violence. Annually, Rose Brooks Center impacts approximately 14,000 local individuals through professional education and shelter, its hotline, and non-residential advocacy, clinical and prevention services.

Reducing Compound Trauma In Hot Spots

CENTERS FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION PROGRAM -- This project brings trauma-informed conflict resolution processes and training and restorative justice practices to children, youth and adults in four COMBAT-identified hot spots. This project serves approximately 600 people in schools, neighborhoods, families and courts. CCR participants are identified as having caused harm or having been harmed. They live, work or go to school in high crime and high violence areas. They have experienced individual, historical, societal, cultural or secondary trauma. Conflict resolution training and processes are a needed aspect of the full-scale intervention COMBAT is creating, making a direct contribution to violence prevention efforts by successfully promoting the idea that conflicts can be resolved without violence. Since conflict can and sometimes does lead to violence, conflict resolution effectively reduces violence.

Sheffield Bullying/Violence Prevention

SHEFFIELD PLACE PROGRAM -- The mothers and children at Sheffield Place demonstrate the pervasive, negative effects of severe trauma. Like their mothers, the children bear deep emotional and often physical scars caused by exposure to pervasive alcohol and drug abuse; domestic violence; sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse; physical and emotional neglect; neighborhood violence; and the trauma of homelessness itself. Due to the trauma in their lives many of the children at Sheffield Place have the factors that put them at high risk for being bullied and/or bullying. The Bullying/Violence Prevention Project integrates education and skill development to address bullying and violence. The objectives include increasing awareness regarding bullying, teaching skills to combat bullying and empowering children through improved protective factors. The program also increases the mothers' knowledge of bullying and increase parenting skills.

Urban Ranger Corps

URBAN RANGER CORPS PROGRAM -- The URC provides youth programming to boys and young men grades 7th-12th, ages 12 to 18, with a unique opportunity to develop the appropriate life skills necessary for them to become successful and contributing members of society. URC is a singular program operating annually, from June through May, and broken down into two sessions: a Summer Session (June-August) and a School-Year Session (September-May). URC makes available to young men opportunities to expand their involvement in activities that will augment their future personal growth and development as members of a worldwide human resource pool. URC offers each participant a global view in the content areas of Career and Academic Enhancement, Financial and Entrepreneurial Education, and Neighborhood and Community Involvement.

Whatsoever Youth Services

WHATSOEVER COMMUNITY CENTER PROGRAM -- As documented by the crime "hot spot" maps, Whatsoever is surrounded by areas designated as being "high crime." Whatsoever's goal is to be an oasis among these hot spots—to prevent more youths from falling into crime or becoming victims. Addressing the issues that youth/young adults and their families encounter cannot be assisted with a “cookie cutter” solution. The staff at Whatsoever, with their connection to the community and experience with the resources it takes to overcome these issues, is completely committed to putting preventive practices in action.

Youth Ambassadors

YOUTH AMBASSADORS, INC. PROGRAM -- Youth Ambassadors hires youth (ages 14-18), many of whom have a history of multiple trauma exposures and are at risk for violence—either as victims or perpetrators—to participate in work assignments that resemble traditional classroom environments. The focus of Youth Ambassadors' violence prevention efforts include the provision of 21st Century life and job skills, mental health services, social-emotional learning, and exposure to equity and advocacy initiatives. Ambassadors participate in a learning community with intentional instruction from adults considered experts in their respective fields. Each week, Ambassadors receive assignments and exercises to increase their value-added market skills, personal responsibility, critical thinking and mental health. The youth are compensated for their participation. Because of this unique aspect, the youth receive financial literacy workshops to embed practical financial skills early on.

Listed By Agency


    These are the agencies that have a COMBAT-funded program with a youth-oriented emphasis or component.

    Amethys Place
    » Prevention Programs

    » Integrated Arts Violence Prevention Program
    Blue Springs School District
    » Eastern Jackson County Schools Collaborative of Greater Kansas City
    Bridge Leadership Academy
    » Bridge Anti-Bullying & Life Skills Program

    Calvary Community Outreach Network
    » Helping Youth Plan For Excellence

    Centers for Conflict Resolution
    » Reducing Compound Trauma In Hot Spots
    DeLaSalle Education Center
    » DeLaSalle Violence Prevention
    FosterAdopt Connect
    » Community Connections Youth Project

    Hickman Mills Prevention Coalition
    » Hope Hangout

    High Aspirations

    » Violence Prevention For Jackson County African-American Males

    Independence Youth Court
    » Peer Diversion
    Jackson County Family Court
    » Night Light Law Enforcement Curfew Program

    Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey
    » AileyCamp & AileyCamp The Group

    Kansas City Municipal Court
    » KC Truancy Intervention Program (TIP)

    Mattie Rhodes Center
    » Mattie Rhodes Violence & Intervention Program

    » STEM Educational Programs

    Rose Brooks Center
    » Project SAFE

    Sisters In Christ
    » Safe Zone

    United Inner City Services (UICS)
    » Arts@UICS - Child Centered Creativity (C3)

    Urban Ranger Corps
    » Urban Ranger Program

    Whatsoever Community Center
    » Whatsoever Youth Services

    Youth Ambassadors, Inc.
    » Youth Ambassadors Summer & School Year Programming