The foundation aligns it's efforts with Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP (KKGU)

The Darol Rodrock Foundation was launched in January of 2014 to help children in foster care realize their own self worth and overcome the loneliness and uncertainty they may feel.

Now some 9 months—and dozens of meetings—later, The Darol Rodrock Foundation, after careful consideration and thorough vetting, has chosen to align its efforts with Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP (KKGU) for the next three years.

While there are many incredible groups aiding those in the foster-care system, KKGU seeks to help those aging out of the system, which is where Darol Rodrock’s heart is likewise called. Darol, himself a foster child, said,

“After conducting dozens of meetings with all of the fine, caring people involved in the foster care world, we were touched and overwhelmed by the number of people doing amazing work in the field. We have tried to find ‘our place’ in the field, and my heart has always been with the kids who are aging out. I understand this better than anyone, because I lived this life myself until I found a loving family to guide and believe in me. If LaVonne and Ray Robinson hadn’t taken me in, I would have been lost.”

With the support of The Darol Rodrock Foundation, KKGU can serve more schools, hire more mentors and advisors, and provide a higher success rate for those in the foster-care system. As always, however, The Darol Rodrock Foundation will continue to raise awareness and support for all the other fine groups in Kansas City that seek to positively impact the lives of those in the foster-care system.

In truth, Darol has met with many of the youth from KKGU over the past 9 months, in groups both large and small, as well as on a one-on-one basis. He relates to this age group from his teaching years, and he has walked their path. His stories, and the inherent wisdom within them, truly resonate with the kids, and they gain a lot of insight and inspiration from his journey through life.

Because, as Darol so passionately believes, no child should be left to fend for themselves in our community.

Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP is a one-of-a-kind organization that sets up shop within different high schools throughout the state of Kansas, locally in Miami, Franklin, Wyandotte, and Johnson counties.

There, walking the halls of the high schools, mentors interact with foster children on a daily basis, before and after school, between classes, and help mentor these kids through the ups and downs of school…and life.

Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP serves 2,500 students across the state of Kansas and 400 in our region locally.

To date, it has delivered $598,980 in scholarships, with projections of approximately $1.2 million to be granted in the 2014-2015 school year.

These mentors and advisors expose foster children to the world—be it as simple as taking them out to dinner, to a show at Starlight Theatre, or even traveling for college visits.

The hardworking mentors keep the students on track with their studies, provide financial aid and ACT/SAT workshops, offer hope, and provide these kids the support they need to succeed at life. They “parent” these children and help them find their path.

From the pen of

Cathy A. Crist - KKGU Region 2 Coordinator

At KKGU, we make an immediate impact on the lives of many of our students. By meeting regularly with our youth and providing them the support they need, we are able to help them understand the gifts they have to be successful.

The quality of programming, mentoring, and advising is unsurpassed.
We fill the gaps for school counselors, social workers, and case managers.

Our partnership with The Darol Rodrock Foundation is miraculous!

Foster students have received everything from baseball equipment to TI83 calculators and winter boots from The Darol Rodrock Foundation. Many of our foster youth do not engage in extracurricular sports, clubs, etc., in high school for a variety of reasons. The Foundation has removed any barriers regarding uniform costs, athletic equipment, and participation fees for students. The Darol Rodrock Foundation has also supported our foster youth going to college with sheets, blankets, lamps, and other school supplies that they would not have been able to have.

«  Our partnership with The Darol Rodrock Foundation has opened many doors for our foster youth that were, literally, barriers for them.  »

The compassion and generosity (both monetarily and through volunteering) The Foundation provides is returned a million times over when foster youth can believe in themselves and know that their futures are brighter as a result of our collaborative efforts with Mr. Rodrock and The Darol Rodrock Foundation. Really, we all have the same focus and desire:

To help foster youth find their paths in life and make it the best life they can live.

There are so many organizations doing great work in Kansas City.

Darol had the privilege to meet with the following groups and would like to sincerely thank them for educating him to the continued needs in the foster-care system:

KVC Health Systems, Horsepower, Gillis Center, Drumm Farm, Children’s Place, A Child’s Hope, Urban Rangers, Your Adoption Coach, Area schools and churches, KIPP Academy, Eckerd Foundation, Global Orphan Project, Kansas Department for Children & Families, Cornerstones of Care, Midwest Foster Care & Adoption, CASA, and concerned citizens.

These organizations have the respect and ongoing support of The Darol Rodrock Foundation.