By Kevin Collison
High Aspirations, a mentoring program for Black youths, wants to build a $1.5 million open pavilion by its existing facility at 803 E. 27th St. to better serve its participants during the pandemic.
“We’re building the pavilion to help our young men to be able to meet and be served at full capacity during Covid,” said Henry Wash, executive director of the organization founded in 2004.
The nonprofit group mentors Black boys and young men ages eight- to 18. The program address the social, emotional, academic and spiritual needs of its members, according to a rezoning application with the City Plan Department.
The organization moved into a building at the corner of 27th and Charlotte three years ago and was large enough to serve 70 young men. Public health restrictions prompted by the Covid pandemic however, reduced that number to 23.
Wash said the proposed pavilion will allow his organization to help more young men during the pandemic. The shelter would include a stone fireplace.
The proposal also includes creating a garden and activity field on the remaining property.
The location is near the County Family Justice Center at 625 E. 26th St. and is readily accessible to many of its participants.
“It’s where we should be as far as Kansas City as a whole,” Wash said.
“Our youth have not been able to participate in the program as much as they should because of Covid. We want to provide a high level of service.”
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