KANSAS CITY, Mo. — St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church, located at 3800 Troost Ave., is looking to transform its 3,000 square-foot basement into the The Mark Youth and Community Center.
The center would house cooking classes, a computer lab, tutoring, a recording studio and other amenities.
"The church can't be an island, the church can't be a place where people just come in and stay amongst ourselves," St. Mark's Church Pastor Donna Simon said. "We have to be giving ourselves away to the community, so this is our attempt to do that."
Many of the ideas come from DeLaSalle Education Center students, like 17-year-old Anthony Yancy.
"We could go play basketball, maybe have a recording studio in there," Yancy said. "Whether that's nursing or playing basketball, rapping, dancing, whatever it is. I hope it just helps them get to where they want to be in life where they can be successful."
The goal is to raise $500,000 for the new center.
"What we're trying to do is give them a healthy, safe place to go, some place to get a snack, some place to get a little tutoring if that's what you want to do, to learn some things like recording in a studio and photography and video making," Simon said. "We got some volunteers already that are just poised, ready to teach those things."
Executive Director of the DeLaSalle Education Center Dr. Elizabeth Sanders said the new center will serve those at DeLaSalle, and continuing to change the stigma from "at-risk students" to "at-promise."
"They may be 'at-risk' of being food insecure, of being homeless, of being a victim of violence or seeing violence," Dr. Sanders said. "But they are 'at-promise' of reaching their greatest potential if just the community and those that have the means would be willing to invest in them."
The goal is to have the center up and running by some time next year.
To learn more information about the Mark Youth and Community Center, click here.