(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) For nearly twenty years, Mid City Excellence has been a place for inner city youth to be inspired, to learn and to grow.
CEO Kimberly Warren, said the program serves a critical role.
"We have many good students that just need encouragement to get through the trauma and the tension that’s going on in their lives," she said.
Many of the kids Mid City serves are from low income households, which can present challenges for them that Warren says can turn into roadblocks to success in life.
"They are dealing with right now, urgent immediate needs of depression, anxiety and not feeling valued," Warren said. "If they don’t have some hope, if they don't have a vision, they are going to dwindle away."
It hasn’t been easy for Warren to keep her program up and running, lack of funding as well as permanent staff have scaled back her day-to-day operations and even transportation options.
Warren said she'd love to keep Mid City Excellence open four or more days a week and hire permanent staff.
"Some of our classes are one time a week and some are twice a week under certain conditions," Warren said.
Now, Warren is getting some help.
After being nominated by Chick-Fil-A to receive on of its True Inspiration Award, Mid City Excellence was able to secure enough votes for a $100,000 donation.
Upon hearing the news, Warren said the donation would be a huge asset to our community.
"It’s very important that we say we recognize [them] we validate [them], [our kids] are valuable to our community." Warren said.
Chick-Fil-A said Mid City received enough votes to place in the top 4, qualifying them for the six figure donation, Warren said her early plans for the money are to address the program's transportation challenges.