City Union Mission Announces a New GAP Year Program. A Residential Program to Equip Disadvantaged Young Adults for College or a Career and Life Preparedness.
“Our goal is to help them create life goals and a plan to obtain gainful employment
or thrive at college while also growing their faith and service to others.”
—Chief Executive Officer Terry Megli
KANSAS CITY, Mo.— The Mission’s new Gap Year program is dedicated to preparing low-income and disadvantaged young adults on their journey into college or vocational life. While the participants will largely be from the Kansas City urban core, this residential program will be operated and housed at the Mission’s facility in Warsaw Missouri. The goal is to place them in an environment where they can focus on being their best “whole” self.
“We’re expanding our services to meet the needs of an underserved population in our community who seek educational and vocational support during this Gap Year – a year of experiential learning typically after high school to explore various educational, vocational and personal developmental activities,” said City Union Mission Chief Executive Officer Terry Megli. “These folks don’t require our recovery program services but need our support as they pursue independence and a way out of generational poverty. This new residential program provides safe shelter, nutritious meals and other basic needs while equipping and empowering them with the hard and soft skills needed for careers, college exploration and preparation for a flourishing independent life.”
While City Union Mission is known for services to individuals experiencing homelessness, the goal of this program is to help prevent that from happening to these vulnerable young adults. One in 10 young adults ages 18-25 experience some form of homelessness over the course of a year. Over 500 kids age out of the foster care system in Missouri each year without a permanent legal family. Statistics say that one in five of them will become homeless, (Retrieved from: National Conference of State Legislatures, University of Chicago).
The 12-week program will ultimately provide 20 beds for disadvantaged men and women ages 18-21 years who have a high school diploma or equivalent. The young adults will live in separate dormitories and participate in on-site classes, various projects and personal development activities designed to cultivate Christian discipleship, servant leadership and vocational and college preparation. Program facilities also include an on-site computer lab, gymnasium, cafeteria and nurses’ office. The Mission will partner with local churches, agencies, colleges and employers to provide learning and growth opportunities for gap year students.
Interviews with staff are available as well as B-Roll footage from our Warsaw facility.
Individuals come to the Mission from all walks of life, shares Megli. “We see young adults who have aged out of the foster care system with no support network, individuals who participated in our Camp CUMCITO or Teen Challenge programs, recent high school graduates who have been living with their mothers in our Women and Family Center and low-income students from our community without a place to live or employment. Our goal is to help them create life goals and a plan to obtain gainful employment or enter and persevere in college while also growing their faith and service to others in Christ.”
For more information about the Mission’s comprehensive programs and services for the homeless and hurting, visit cityunionmission.org.
City Union Mission is an evangelical Christian ministry committed to sharing the Gospel and meeting the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of men, women and children who are poor or homeless.