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February 2024 Newsletter


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Hello from one of the newest additions to The DeBruce Foundation’s team!

For the past twenty years, I’ve been an educator in Kansas City; most recently, I had the privilege of serving as the Executive Director of Northland CAPS. Connecting the dots has been my favorite part of every role, and this is especially true for connecting students to experts and career opportunities. 

Last month, I began a new career journey as part of an initiative between The DeBruce Foundation and Kansas City-based Make48. We’re building an innovative experience that teaches entrepreneurial concepts from Make48 competitions and features the Agilities©, with plans to pilot next fall. It is an incredibly fun way to teach durable skills and build confidence, and one that can connect students in any region to local entrepreneurs and makerspaces. 

For a glimpse at the kind of impact we’re talking about, check out this recap of our most recent Make48 competition featuring Project Lead the Way students and get a sneak peak of our next event at Kansas State School for the Blind. Here’s to continued connections to help develop employment empowered students in 2024 and beyond!

New Career Literacy tool: Education Explorer

Are you, or someone you know, looking to take the next step in your education? 

Our new Career Literacy tool, the Education Explorer, helps you expand your education options and gather information to make informed decisions, all in one place!

With this interactive tool, search for education opportunities by degrees offered, state, cost, and specialty. 

Start your search today with the Education Explorer.

Listen in for career tips, stories, and wisdom

Our very own Executive Director and COO, Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, was recently featured on the Professionally Speaking Podcast:

There’s enough out there for everyone. You don’t have to step on anybody else to get ahead in this career. So, if you will pour your energy into helping those around you be the best that they can be, find the opportunities, expand their career opportunities, that will come back to you tenfold.” Listen to the full interview here or wherever you find your podcasts.

Check out the Kansas Micro-Internship Program

Through the Kansas Micro-internship Program, students gain paid, professional experience while employers gain support and access to early talent! 

We’re proud to partner with the Kansas Board of Regents, Parker Dewey, Kansas Department of Commerce, and Strada Education Network for the Kansas Micro-Internship Program. Watch a recent interview on 13 WIBW about this innovative state-wide initiative

Kansas students, learn more here.
Kansas employers, learn more here.

Sparking an Empowered Workforce

The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri is hosting the annual C3KC conference on April 2, convening civic, corporate, and nonprofit communities to spark change in Kansas City. 

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, The DeBruce Foundation Executive Director and COO, will lead a conversation on Sparking an Empowered Workforce alongside Dr. Bennett Boggs, Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, Phyllis Hardwick, Executive Director of Community Capital Fund, and Jeanette Prenger, Founder and CEO of ECCO Select. Learn more and register for C3KC.

Youth leadership strengthens our communities

Much like how members of the DeBruce Career Corps help guide our mission of expanding career pathways, youth leadership can and should be involved everywhere in our communities! 

During Youth Leadership Month in February, we encourage youth to reflect on their skills and their interests, and then look for opportunities to use them to better the community! To get started, consider a leadership role at school, finding a local leadership organization to hone your skills, or leading a volunteer project you’re passionate about!

Partnering to prepare teens for future careers

In this month’s guest blog, Lee Waldvogel, Senior Director of Partnerships at American Student Assistance (ASA), highlights ASA and The DeBruce Foundation’s partnership for their digital platform, EvolveMe: 

“it’s about empowering teens with the self-awareness and confidence to chart their own course, knowing their unique strengths are valuable assets in the ever-evolving job market.” Read the full blog.

Financial aid opportunities

During Financial Aid Awareness Month, we’re highlighting a few resources from our partners working to remove barriers to education! Check out these resources:

  • My Scholarship Central to search for scholarships and interest-free loans
  • for everything you need to know about the new FAFSA
  • KC Scholars to apply for traditional and adult learner scholarship opportunities

Join us for a training

Are you looking for career-building resources for your classroom, curriculum, or organization? Join us for an upcoming training!

2/27 Agilities Tour
3/12 Agilities Tour
4/11-12 Agilities Coach Training

View all upcoming opportunities.

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