Youth Development

Green Works in Kansas City

Leadership Development through environmental responsibility

Kansas City, MO


Green Works in Kansas City excels at environmental education and workforce development for urban high school students and in creating partnerships with local businesses, and organizations that open doors for our students and positively impact their futures. We educate students about the environment and involve them in meaningful service projects. We provide job skill training and financial literacy training to prepare our students for summer internships, and life after high school. We also work with individual citizens, families, neighborhoods and organizations through informal science education to increase community awareness and support of environmental education and workforce priorities, and inspire environmental stewardship and respect.

Ruling Year



Ms. Kate Corwin

Main Address

607 East 31st Street

Kansas City, MO 64109 USA


environmental education, internships, workforce development, youth development, service-learning, ECOS, Accelerate, Excelerate, leadership development





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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Our Sustainable Development Goals

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1 3 4 5 8 10 11 12

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Environmental Connection Opportunities for Students (ECOS)

Excelerate and Summer Work Experiences

Green Ink

Digital Literacy and Financial Literacy

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our goal is to empower our students to protect the environment, contribute to our economy, and create healthy communities.   Green Works was formed to improve education and career opportunities for urban high school students with a focus on the environment. But it takes time. Green Works programming is designed to serve a smaller number of students in a long-term, holistic fashion. We commit to work with our students for at least two years. We spend one year teaching our students about Kansas City's most serious environmental issues through a hands-on, science curriculum that includes field trips and service projects. We spend the second year helping our students with soft skills, interest evaluations, money management and career planning. That summer we raise the money to place our students in paid internships and work sessions where they gain real work experience, make new connections and are exposed to career they never considered.   After two years with Green Works our students have solid work experience for their resumes. Their self-esteem has improved, they have learned money management skills and are often saving for their education. They have met new people and have been exposed to careers they didn't even know existed. And they know more about Kansas City's serious environmental issues than their peers and most adults.   Consider how Kansas City could be transformed if more students were able to take part in Green Works' programming. More young adults would graduate from high school better prepared for post-secondary education and the workforce. Some will work directly for the environment, and all will spread their knowledge of environmental stewardship to their work places. With steady employment, Green Works' graduates will be able to buy homes. They will plant native plants in their yard, weatherize their homes, install rain barrels and teach their neighbors. When they become parents they'll pass on their respect for the environment to their children.     Green Works' graduates will grow to become educated voters who understand the important decisions impacting our water infrastructure and public transportation. Graduates will attend community events and advocate for their neighborhood. Some graduates will be appointed to boards and commissions, helping lead Kansas City's future.   Our economy and neighborhoods benefit from young residents and future homeowners working at their potential. Employers benefit from a skilled workforce. Our community benefits from voters and taxpayers informed about our water, energy and public transportation challenges and a group of resilient and accountable urban role models actively engaged and advocating for their neighborhoods. And we all benefit from engaging a younger and more diverse population of residents in protecting our natural resources.

The staff, board and supporters of Green Works in Kansas City make long-term, life-changing investments in our urban high school youth - Kansas City's future taxpayers, voters and environmental stewards. We believe that changing their future changes our future by positively impacting our environment, our economy and our community.
We educate students about the environment and involve them in meaningful service projects. Service learning helps students make a connection between their education and the workforce, decreasing the likelihood that they'll drop out of school.
We expose students to a variety of growing, well-paid careers and help them develop achievable career plans aligned with their interests, skills and the economy. We provide soft skill and money management training. Then we raise the money to place our students into paid internships that improve academic performance and increase future job success and earnings.
And finally, we believe in the importance of social capital. All our programming is designed to leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations and to provide opportunities for our students to develop the strong networks they need to fuel their success.

We hire quality instructors including minorities and we pay them fairly.

We invest in our instructors - all of our instructors have taken Trauma-Informed care training, and two of our instructors are certified mediators.
We follow best practices for working with urban youth including small class size, quality instructors, long-term engagement, plenty of food and paying stipends. We work with our students for a minimum of 2 years.
We focus on outcomes and continual improvement. We build evaluations and process improvement into our programs and have had 2 formal evaluations conducted.
We invest in our curriculum. Last summer we completely redesigned the ECOS program to address "Nature Deficit Disorder" and to add Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). We added SEL and role play to our 2nd year workforce programming, along with adding stand-alone digital literacy and financial literacy programs.
Finally we focus on Student Resilience. In all our programming we have incorporated Social and Emotional Learning exercises. In our workforce programming we spend extensive, individualized attention on students' skill sets, personalities, and interests to help them identify career goals that will fit long term, then connect them with networks that will carry them forward.

We measure our success through our students' - Increase in science literacy - Changed behaviors towards the environment - Improvement of life skills including financial literacy, time management and organization - Hours of meaningful work experience through paid summer internships and work opportunities - Increase in social capital connections

We have grown to serve more than 150 students/year. We have funded 16,000 hours of paid internships for our students and all our students have graduated from high school. Our students, staff and volunteers have planted 4,000 native plants and trees in urban neighborhoods, and have produced a number of educational videos and participate regularly in community events spreading a message of sustainability and environmental justice.

How We Listen

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), paper surveys, focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, suggestion box/email.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
We share feedback with: our staff, our board, our funders, our community partners.
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
It is difficult to: it is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback.
What significant change resulted from feedback
We have incorporated more digital literacy programming in response to students' concern regarding their email, word and excel skills.

External Reviews




Green Works in Kansas City

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  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/27/2020


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
Gender Identity
Female, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability

Race & Ethnicity


Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

No data


No data

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 03/27/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more


We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.

Policies and processes

We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.