Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City Enters Growth Mode with Opus Foundation® Three-Year Grant

“The realities of the pandemic have really impacted young people," said Jason Roth, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City (BGCGKC). “We're very attuned to the increase in behavioral and mental health issues. We've seen a lack of drive and interest in education from teens and we need to address it before they fall further behind."

As BGCGKC expands their services to help teens regroup and recover from COVID 19 setbacks, the Opus Foundation is continuing their support of the long-time partner. Over three years, the Foundation will provide a total of $150,000.

Empowering & Supporting Kids Most in Need

BGCGKC promotes the development of skills, values and self-esteem of school-aged kids. Through its 10 clubs in Kansas City, the nonprofit provides kids a safe place, connection to enrichment and learning and post-secondary exposure.

“Our clubs are located where they're needed most – in neighborhoods where there are no other discernible positive outlets for young people in need," Jason said.

The Opus Foundation's three-year grant supports programs that empower teens to succeed academically, graduate high school and have post-secondary education or career plans. Programming includes drug and alcohol education, character and leadership development, community service and college and career readiness support. BGCGKC facilitates college campus tours and hosts meetings with college representatives. Speakers, job shadowing, internships and summer jobs help teens explore a variety of career paths.

BGCGKC's teen programs have a strong track record of success. In the past six years, 100% of active teen members have graduated high school with post-secondary plans.

Building Better

During the pandemic, many kids attended school virtually at one of the organization's existing or pop-up clubs.

“Those kids had nowhere else to go," Jason said. “They needed somewhere to get a warm meal and access to computers and academic support."

Despite providing a critical safety net, BGCGKC saw a sharp decline in participation. However, by December 2022 participation had returned to pre-pandemic levels. They are serving an average of 175 teens a day. By the end of 2025, BGCGKC plans to increase daily participation by 60 and the number of teens served annually by 150.

That's where the Opus Foundation grant comes in.

“Kids need us more now than they have for a generation," Jason said. “The grant will help us build on previous Opus Foundation investments and do bigger and better things."

With the three-year grant, BGCGKC will be able to confidently plan more than 12 months out.

The grant will fund staff and recruitment, field trips to college and corporate campuses and internships. Additionally, the grant will underwrite the buildout of makerspace technology labs at several clubs and equip them with 3D printers and other high-tech tools. A previous Opus Foundation grant funded a similar project at BGCGKC's Olathe location.

Jason and his team are already in growth mode: “We're moving briskly on the build out, staffing, supplies and equipment. There are a lot of evolving partnerships with schools, districts and partners. Over the course of this three-year cycle, I'm confident we'll see significant growth."

Investing in Long-Term Innovation

For more than a decade, Opus has been one of BGCGKC's most valued partners. The long-term relationship has fostered trust among the organization's staff, the Opus Foundation and Opus associates.

“Opus is one of our most treasured partners," Jason said. “Their support has allowed us to take risks and innovate. More than once they had the faith to say, 'we believe enough in your organization that we're going to invest in your ideas and help you become better.'"

“BGCGKC is a dynamic organization that is always evolving to meet the needs of youth and communities," said Kristin Ridley, Executive Director of the Opus Foundation. “Opus has been a proud partner for many years because of their steadfast belief in quality programming and commitment to member success."

While the Opus Foundation has become a reliable partner, so too have Opus associates, including Oscar Healy, Gary Schuberth and Megan Garner. For example, Megan is serving as a junior Youth of the Year judge, an important BGCGKC program. In 2016, our Kansas City team received the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City Club Champion award. Jason knows if there's ever anything he needs, he can count on Opus.

Since 2012, Opus Foundation has provided nearly $337,000 in grants to BGCGKC.


The Opus Foundation​®​ is the corporate foundation for The Opus Group and is building community for a better tomorrow by supporting projects and programs that make our communities better places to live, work and raise families. The Foundation is committed to improving conditions that disproportionately affect historically underinvested individuals and communities by resourcing key focus areas of early childhood education, youth development, workforce development, community revitalization and pressing/emerging needs. Read more about the Foundation's work. The Opus Foundation is a separate entity from The Opus Group and is led by its own Board of Directors.