"It wasn't just getting the scholarship; it was like gaining a new family... they are really really interested in building the community and [in helping] the students reach their goals." - Adra

Read more to find out the winner of the  RIPPLE EFFECT AWARD!

Have you seen the awards won by our very own Marketing & Communications Dept?



Great Jobs KC Shout Out


November 2023 RIPPLE EFFECT AWARD WINNER IS…. Rockie Phillips

Nominated by Coley Mattison and awarded by our Ripple Effect Award Committee. Coley had these wonderful things to say about Rockie: “Rockie is a huge asset to our team, consistently going above and beyond to make work more enjoyable and keeping the office running smoothly. Rockie is always positive and smiling and has an infectious enthusiasm that brightens the office environment. She is always willing to take on any task or job asked of her, and always does it to the highest standards. Rockie is not only an internal force but also an external ambassador for our organization. Her warm and friendly demeanor toward all visitors who come to our office creates a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. Her interactions with guests leave a lasting positive impression of our organization. Her knowledge about every program under Great Jobs KC is truly impressive and she provides excellent assistance to those seeking our services. Rockie always goes the extra mile to make sure that everyone here feels valued and supported. Her commitment to her work, her amazing people skills, and her dedication to the wellbeing of colleagues is commendable. She deserves to be recognized for all the many amazing things she does.”

Do you know someone else who deserves the RIPPLE EFFECT AWARD?

The winner each month will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card and their name on a plaque in the office.

We want to CELEBRATE each other! Nominate someone you think is making an IMPACT either externally or internally or BOTH! Fill out the survey below (it’s anonymous if you want it to be, you don’t have to fill in your name and the collect IPAddress function is turned off on this survey so it can be absolutely anonymous if you’d like.) Tell us who is making a difference, who is going above and beyond, or who just makes work more enjoyable each and every day!

Our Ripple Effect Award Committee will convene monthly and select the recipient and it will be announced in each month’s internal newsletter.


What’s in a name?

Well, we’ve come to find out a great deal. We began our journey as KC Scholars, a college scholarship program providing funding for college for those who otherwise could not afford it. Our goals haven’t changed. We’ve expanded how we deliver on our core value of SCHOLARS FIRST. We want to move 50,000 Kansas Citians from underemployment to family-sustaining careers with benefits in the next ten years. And we know college isn’t the ONLY path to a Great Job and that a degree alone doesn’t secure employment. For those reasons, we are broadening our organizational name to Great Jobs KC. KC Scholars will still be our college scholarship program. But, with the addition of our tuition-free job training program – called Great Jobs KC – and the development of our career resource team along with our employer engagement team, which is working to develop partnerships with KC area employers to secure ALL of our Scholars GREAT JOBS when they complete their program, we felt our organizational name should reflect ALL that we do.

If you have a Great Jobs KC partner that needs to be informed of our updated organizational name and needs to update their website with our updated logo/information please provide them with this announcement that also provides our downloadable logo for their convenience.


A Message From Our CEO

“Our Employer Partnership Program supports the workforce needs by providing all employers access to skilled, motivated, knowledgeable Scholars ready to work and start their career.” -Earl Martin Phalen

Kansas City is a city of strong communities, innovation, and endless potential. Our newest program at Great Jobs KC is the Employer Partnership program. Great Jobs KC’s mission advances knowledge and education while assisting socio-economic advancement for its scholars, employer partners and community. We are in partnership with so many amazing local Kansas City businesses to shape the skill-level and diversity of the current workforce and impact the entire communities workforce while we help our scholars secure great jobs!

We work alongside our employers to support our Scholars with soft-skills training, basic needs services and retention support to both the Scholar and the employer to make sure everyone is successful. We invest thousands of dollars per candidate to develop a more skilled, successful individual.

Our Scholars are:

• High school students interested in internships.

• College students interested in internships.

• College graduates interested in starting their careers.

• Qualified adults looking for career growth and development opportunities.

How Are Our Candidates Different?

Great Job KC’s candidates are from six county bi-state regions in Kansas and Missouri (Cass, Clay, Platte, Jackson, Johnson, and Wyandotte). They are local talent, meaning they are invested in the community and in staying at each of your organizations.

• 77% of college graduates are first generation college students.

• Great Jobs KC Program Scholars receive life skills and support services during and post certification training.

• All Great Jobs KC Scholars are supported through their first year of employment by a dedicated Scholar Advocate.

• Over 80% of our Scholars are from diverse backgrounds and demographics.

Our Employer Partnership Program supports the workforce needs by providing all employers access to skilled, motivated, knowledgeable Scholars ready to work and start their career.

Over the last 7 years, we have assisted thousands of Scholars from different ethnic backgrounds. Through our college scholarships, KC Scholars, and our tuition free job training program, Great Jobs KC program, our goal is to help 50,000 Kansas Citians secure good paying jobs within the next 10 years. Our goal of helping thousands of community members secure family-sustaining careers is more than just a vision: it’s a promise of a brighter future. We want to keep qualified, diverse talent in the Kansas City community where it belongs. It is good for individuals, our regional economy and our community.

Thank you for your partnership and allowing our mission to change lives in our great city!

-Earl Martin Phalen

77% of college graduates are first generation college students.

Over 80% of our Scholars are from diverse backgrounds and demographics.

Our goal is to help 50,000 Kansas Citians secure good paying jobs.


Our first Core Value is the one that drives our mission and inspires us everyday is SCHOLARS FIRST, here is what our scholars have to say.

“My life has been upward bound since receiving a scholarship. I was able to gain a degree and get a better paying job to support my family.”

Dawnisha Douglas, 2017 KC Scholar – Park University B.S. Criminal Justice

Our High School Team

Northwest Missouri State University Campus Tour

Northwest Missouri State University hosted a campus visit for KC Scholars high school seniors and their family members on Saturday, September 30. Scholars attended presentations about admissions, diversity and inclusion, and financial aid, received a 1-on-1 campus tour, and ate lunch with current KC Scholars. We appreciated our college partner hosting this opportunity for KC Scholars!

Below are pictures from the tour.

K-State Pumpkin Painting Party

On Monday, October 16th, Kaylie Smith, Scholar Advocate, attended a Pumpkin Painting Party hosted by the Academic Achievement Center and the Office of First Generation Students at Kansas State University. First-gen students, Give Back Scholars, and KC Scholars were in attendance. Students got the opportunity to pick out a pumpkin and paint anything they wanted! It was great to see so many students making new friends at this de-stress event.

One of KC Scholars’ core values is continuous improvement. Several employees displayed this core value by attending professional conferences. Natalie Lewis, Kaylie Smith, and Kaylee Sundeen traveled to Las Vegas, NV, September 27-29 to attend the National Scholarship Providers Association’s (NSPA) annual conference, Opportunity: Maximizing the Collective Impact of Scholarships. They were able to join more than 600+ scholarship providers across the country to collaborate about best practices, network with other organizations, and discuss innovative student supports to increase educational attainment and help students realize their dreams for themselves, their families, and their communities. Andrea Diaz and Daneille Rogg Guillermo attended the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) annual conference, Uniting for Equity: Shaping the Future of Postsecondary Attainment, in Dallas, Texas. They joined postsecondary access and success practitioners nationwide to cultivate new ideas, examine current strategies, and ensure that we are putting our best, most effective foot forward for all Scholars. All are excited to bring back what they learned to KC Scholars! NSPA and NCAN conference attendees will be hosting a snack and learn on Tuesday, November 15, from 2-3 p.m. in the Marion Board Room or Teams if you would like to hear more about what they learned.

Our Adult Learner Team

Introduction to Microsoft Word Class

The Adult Learner team hosted Introduction to Microsoft Word classes at the Plaza Library on Monday, October 23rd and 30th, and will host another on Monday, November 6th. All Adult Learner awardees are invited to participate. We appreciate everything the adult learner team does to provide support for our Scholars! 

Texting Party!

The college team celebrated being able to text Scholars via Salesforce with a texting party! Shoutout to Kailee Karr for bringing the perfect cake for the noteworthy event!

The Numbers Don't Lie, We Are Changing Lives Everyday.




currently in training


Currently in workshops



Kyndall Williams and Alex Shaw, both recently joined us as Great Jobs KC Scholar Advocates and both were KAUFFMAN SCHOLARS.

Great Jobs KC has partnered with Community America Bank.

They are providing space so we can conduct our Professional Career Skills Workshops. Our scholars can also take advantage of the banks free Finacial Well Being one-on-one coaching which is located on the premises. This location is also accessible by bus so it makes it very convenient for our scholars.

We have also partnered with the following locations to offer our workshops:

  • Gladstone Community Center
  • iWerx North KC
  • Rosedale Development Association

Training Partners

GJKC has signed an agreement with Excelsior Springs Area Career Center. 

Excelsior Springs is located 30 miles NE of downtown KCMO in Clay County. This partnership will expand our reach to an area that serves 7+ rural high schools and communities in Clay County that have access to Excelsior Springs Area Career Center but may not have the resources to enroll. Our partnership includes CNA, CMT, EMT, and Firefighter training w/ the possibility for future construction, electrical, and automotive courses for adults.

Employer Network Team

Our Employer Engagement team is hard at work getting our Scholars to great jobs.

We are excited to welcome the following company as a partner:

If you have any contacts or know of an employer that would be a good fit please reach out to Michael Chavez at mchavez@kcscholars.org

Scholar Support Resources

Our Associate Vice President of Development, Karolyn Dreiling and Community Resource Manager Brandey Chandler attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Community Service League’s newly renovated Hawthorne Place Apartments. (Click here)

Our Community Resource Manager, Brandey Chandler attended the launch of Black Excellence Inc’s new collaboration with the Heartland Chamber of Commerce.

Community Resource Manager, Brandey Chandler completed Nonprofit Connect’s six-week Nonprofit Management Institute. “I highly recommend this Institute to all staff, whether you’re a new manager, or have decades of experience.”

See Our Impact

On October 19th our COO, Natalie Lewis presented our year six program evaluation, celebrating our victories and providing insight to our ever expanding programs. If you missed the presentation you can view it HERE.

The written report will be available soon on our Evaluation Page.

On Saturday October 7th our scholarship program, KC Scholars was awarded the Outstanding Educational Achievement Program Award by the South Kansas City Alliance. Our COO, Natalie Lewis was on hand to receive the award along with some other very deserving educational programs including one of our Great Jobs KC training partners, T and L Welding Academy.

How Can We Change More Lives?

We always say “What can I do to change one life today?” But really we want to change more than one life we want to change thousands of lives. To do that we need people to know about our programs. The internet is the best way to do that and Google reviews help our website rank higher on search engines. Anytime you are interacting with our scholars, donors, or partners and the opportunity to ask them to leave us a Google review presents it self please invite them to SHARE THE LOVE about Great Jobs KC by leaving a review. Use this link to send them direct to our Google review page. You can also add it to your email signature to make it easy for anyone who receives an email from you to leave us a review. If you need help adding it to your email signature reach out to Emma Cruciani at ecruciani@kcscholars.org and she will help you.

Click Here For The Link

Drop this PowerPoint slide into presentations to Scholars, donors, and partners who know us and support our mission!

In The Media

Great Jobs KC COO Natalie Lewis explains our two programs that are getting Kansas Citians GREAT JOBS on KCTV5’s My KC Live.

Great Jobs KC was featured on Telemundo recently. Click to see the story

KC Scholars, Changing Lives Through Resources and Career Opportunities

School and career goals are easier to achieve with the support of KC Scholars. We tell you how you can take advantage of the available resources and fulfill your dreams. More information at GREATJOBSKC.ORG

University of Missouri celebrates our very own KC Scholars.


The answer.....so much!

We’d like to start by letting you know we are working as hard as we can to support each and every one of you. As we work through our organizational name shift and all the changes that come with that we ask for your patience as we work hard to complete your projects as quickly as we can.

A note about the name shift. For the next few months before you use any collateral or send out any documents or get anything printed please send it to the marketing team just to make sure it is the most up-to-date version of what you want to use. There are a lot of updates in progress and what’s on Sharepoint or what is on your computer is likely not the most current version.

Also, please send us anything you are using on your teams that we might not be aware of to have it updated with the current branding/logos. Thanks so very much for your patience and support!


When it comes to communicating… there can be TOO much. To help manage the communications our Scholars receive from us so they don’t unsubscribe or BLOCK us entirely we’ve created a COMMUNICATION POLICY AND PROCESS. It can be found HERE


We have created a Marketing Process Document This document and the form you need to fill out to engage Marketing is meant to help us manage our workload. We support the entire organization and as you can imagine that is A LOT for 3 people to manage, to that end we’ve developed a process and form that will explain the process to use when engaging marketing for your next project or event. We are here to support YOU! Let’s work together to DO GREAT THINGS! Here is the link 


Who doesn’t like to SHOP??? Well even if you don’t we’ve tried to make the process of ordering printables, merch, business cards, and more as easy as possible. Please take a moment to read (or watch the video) to learn how to use the Merch Store in order to make sure you get what you need and it gets billed to the proper department. The Merch Store “How-To” can be found HERE

As always if you have any questions please reach out and ask. The only question we won’t answer is the one you never ask!

We are so very proud to announce that on October 26th our Marketing & Communications Department was awarded 5 Silver Prism Awards from the KCPRSA!

We won for:
Our Award Day Draft Day concept
Our social media campaign: #DraftedbyKCScholars
Our media kit
Our GJKC Program Model Infographic
Our KC Scholar – Jasmine video

Data Report

A couple of notes from our Research and Evaluation team.

Also under the heading of “What’s in a Name?” this department is not the DATA TEAM. They are responsible for some parts of the data that we all use to help further our message and put measurement to what we do in order to deliver on our core value of RESULTS FOCUSED. But EVERYONE is responsible for data here at Great Jobs KC. Also, please remember ALL REQUESTS go through their email address data@kcscholars.org please DO NOT request data points or surveys or any deliverable from this department through individual emails.

Laura Schneider would like to give a huge SHOUT OUT to Seth, Amilee, and Tia for the work they did on the six year program evaluation. “They’ve put in an extraordinary amount of effort over the past few weeks to compile the data, build visualizations, and write and edit the evaluation itself. They 100% deserve some praise!”