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KC Scholars

KC Chamber of Commerce Recognizes KC Scholars as Champions of Diversity

Recently, KC Scholars was recognized for inclusion and diversity efforts in both the staffing field and community outreach by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. At the annual Chamber Power of Diversity Breakfast, we were awarded the Nonprofit Champion of Diversity Award for 2023. This award acknowledges a top nonprofit in the Kansas City metro area that is viewed as a role model organization for other nonprofits through their diversity practices. KC Scholars was acknowledged as a stand-apart organization for this award for our inclusive hiring practices, welcoming organizational culture, supplier diversity, and external mission driven work helping diverse people get on a path to prosperity in our community.

KC Scholars deliberately makes conscious actions to invest in the diversity that Kansas City is home to. Taking thoughtful actions to appreciate and show the diversity that surrounds us, not only through our staff, but by connecting to those in the community who could benefit from our programs the most. This is the key to our success. Our staff at KC Scholars are the ones who make these connections to affect change. Our Chief Talent Officer, Lilia Alvarado, describes KC Scholars mission as “A mission of love, a mission of an incredible intention of transformation” through the authentic connections our staff makes to those we serve. It is because of our staff’s eagerness and willingness to take on any task that we have been able to meet our goals.

We believe a good paying job should be available to everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity. As many scholars come from diverse backgrounds, we know how important it is to allow all individuals to voice their concerns and needs and to hear all points of view. Over the last 6 years, we have assisted thousands of scholars from different ethinic backgrounds. Through our college scholarships and our tuition free job training program, Great Jobs KC program, our goal is to secure good paying jobs for 30,000 scholars over the next 10 years. We can do this by connecting our staff to the community. KC Scholars is vigilant in letting our scholars know how attentive we are towards their individualized needs. Every perspective matters, and we want our scholars to know that they are all heard, valued, and supported.

KC Scholars President and CEO, Earl Martin Phalen, states how our organization tries “to commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion in many ways. One is through the staff, who we are. We are an incredibly diverse staff here at KC Scholars and very proud that we represent the communities we serve.” As of July 2023, KC Scholars has a total of 83 staffing members where 37 individuals classify as Black, 8 classify as Hispanic, 34 classify as White and 4 classify as mixed ethnicities. There is power in bringing diversity into the workplace that helps others connect to us because we can connect to the community we work with. Connecting to those we aid is a humbling experience knowing we are actively working to supply life-transforming opportunities. Noticing the beauty of diversity, valuing the importance of inclusion and the delivering on the expectation of equity within our workplace is our driving force when it comes to our KC Scholars team. Our ability to relate to the populations we serve helps our scholars conceptualize that all career goals can be made a reality despite socio-economic upbringing or other life challenges.

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