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NEAT Brings Resources to Northeast High School Students

When neighborhood leaders in the Historic Northeast and Northeast Alliance Together (NEAT) decided to improve their connections to youth, they reached out to Northeast High School.

The school and neighborhoods met in the fall of 2017 to set up a plan for working together. Ana Ramirez, NEAT’s VISTA community engagement coordinator, led the initiative which began with surveying students and teachers, and hosting focus groups to determine priorities and timing.

The first step was to see what students wanted. Survey results and focus groups of 197 participants indicated a desire for more after-school options. In fact, 95% of survey respondents reported there are only a few, not enough or no programs at school that interest them. “We need more people to be engaged with us, to keep us more on what we want in life. We need more education, more effort, more support,” said a student.

As a result of the feedback, the organizations planned a youth summit to connect students with resources. The first Northeast Youth Summit was held on May 25th and introduced students to 15 community agencies, neighborhood associations and student organizations offering information on employment, transportation and other opportunities.

What’s LISC’s role?

For two years, Greater Kansas City LISC has provided funding for NEAT to support the collective vision of the diverse Northeast neighborhoods. The Youth Summit is an example of LISC’s commitment to help families and their children feel connected to their neighbors and take pride in their community.

The NFL Grassroots Program also reflects this aspect of LISC’s mission. In 2017, LISC partnered with the Kansas City Chiefs to provide a $250,000 grant for resurfacing Northeast High’s athletic field.