It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Boys Hope Girls Hope of Kansas City, and thanks to mothers at Rockhurst High School, Santa has made deliveries to a residential program at 12120 State Line Rd. There, just east of McGilley’s Funeral Home, sits a house designed and built to accommodate up to 10 motivated boys. They range in age from middle school to high school.
The Rev. Paul Sheridan, a Jesuit priest, believed education was the path to breaking the cycle of poverty, and he founded Boys Hope Girls Hope after seeing young children trapped in environments not conducive to success. His goal was to help young people rise above disadvantaged backgrounds by placing them in a different situation. There are now 16 nondenominational affiliates in the United States.
At the home on State Line Road, students are referred to as scholars and attend St. Thomas More Elementary School and Rockhurst High School. There are three live-in residential counselors as well as other staff members who challenge the boys to live up to their potential. Volunteers provide tutoring, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, special meals and game nights. Boys also are involved in sports, extracurricular activities, volunteer opportunities, summer school, camps and, of course, household chores. No unmade beds here. They meld together as a family, learn respect and are taught to be “men for others.” After finishing high school, scholars are assisted with scholarships and grants to complete their college education.
Although the home accommodates only boys, a similar home for girls is being planned, according to Tonja Dean, executive director. She said two openings for boys will be available for the ’21/22 school year. Contact her for information at 615-727-2298 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When asked about a favorite dessert, the general response was, “We like them all!” One favorite, however, is chocolate cake made from a recipe in “The Hungry Boys Cookbook” published by the Rockhurst Mothers Club in the 1980s.