The KCK Youth Program, Learn to Earn, was founded in 1998 by the Parkwood Colony, Inc. Neighborhood Association to provide the most at-risk youth in our community with the basic principles necessary to ensure success in a traditional work/earn environment. In 2012, the Historic Northeast Midtown Association (HNMA) received its official designation by the Unified Government as the Neighborhood Business Revitalization Organization for the northeast-midtown area of Wyandotte County. In 2013, Parkwood Colony asked HNMA to assume the administration and management of the Learn to Earn program. The organizations now partner to facilitate and ensure the programs continued success.
In Learn to Earn, the children learn the principles that govern a person's or group's behavior on the job, including the right and wrong ways to interface with authority and co-workers, and resolve conflicts. They learn practical job skills and how to apply those job skill to produce certain outputs depending upon the business function performed. The children learn the value of self-determination and non-dependency for those things which they can garner themselves. Attendance, punctuality, and accountability for one's behavior and social etiquette are expected. Unbeknownst to the parents, they too learn something about setting and accepting standard for their and their children's behavior and performances.
The Learn to Earn program has also created income-earning opportunities for urban youth by providing a small stipend at the end of the eight-week program. This stipend is an incentive to the youth to work hard and continue through the entire program. Included with on the job training, youth participate in a daily class for an hour each morning. These classes prepare the youth to step into leadership roles by teaching them the skills necessary to effectively communicate and interact with their peers and work colleagues. Youth must learn how to work as a team as well as effectively communicate with their peers, colleagues and superiors. During these classes, youth also receive presentations from community leaders on different subject matter; nutrition, finance, computer literacy, etc.