About Us

Our Mission: To empower young women to lead healthy lives filled with positive options.

What We Do

Young Women on the Move was founded in 2005 to teach middle school and high school girls the attitudes, behaviors, and skills necessary to lead a healthy life in every aspect. Its name symbolizes girls moving toward the future with healthy minds, bodies, and spirits that are focused on life’s possibilities.

 

We deliver a holistic approach to health—mind, body, spirit—to middle school and high school girls in Kansas City, KS. Girls in the urban core often face extreme environmental stressors and low expectations for achieving their potential. YWOM instills a foundation of moral values, character, and an affirming self-belief system with individualized support, counseling, mentoring, team building, goal setting, and accountability. Girls learn to enhance their decision making and problem solving skills, physical and mental health, social and communication skills, and academic and career preparation.

 

YWOM serves six Kansas City, KS USD 500 schools: Argentine Middle, Central Middle, Northwest Middle, F.L. Schlagle High School, J.C. Harmon High School, and Wyandotte High School. Today, YWOM enjoys the school district’s full endorsement as its mentoring program for girls. Trained social workers and volunteers provide counseling and lead the YOUNG WOMEN ON THE MOVE program in weekly one-hour sessions at the high schools and in three-hour, after school sessions on Wednesdays for both middle school and high school groups. The programs are organized to promote healthy development in mind, body and spirit.

Why We Do It

  • We believe in the worth and potential of every girl.
  • We believe girls are invaluable assets to our community and it is our responsibility to ensure they have opportunities to succeed.
  • We believe in the power of a relationship with a caring adult to help girls develop positive self-identity, resiliency, and the ability to hope and plan for a brighter future.

 

The Current Reality

  • In Kansas City and across the country, women are the sole wage earners in 40% of households.
  • In 2012, 62.5% of Wyandotte County’s families in poverty were female-headed, single-parent households.
  • Girls are the fastest-growing population in the justice system. A federal study found that girls and women with histories of childhood abuse or neglect were 73% more likely to be incarcerated.
  • Wyandotte County’s teen pregnancy rate is 4 times the national average.
  • The Crimes Against Children Research Center found that 1 in 5 girls will be the victim of childhood sexual abuse. In addition, 40% of rape survivors are assaulted before the age of 18.
  • Wyandotte County is ranked 96th out of 98 Kansas counties for health behaviors and outcomes.
  • For the first time in America’s history, adolescents are expected to have a shorter life span than their parents due to diet and lifestyle.

Goals and Outcomes

Long-Term Goals: Instill Resiliency, Self-Efficacy, Good Character

  • Reverse the growing feminization of poverty in Greater Kansas City.
  • Make Wyandotte County a healthier place to live.
  • Develop responsible, caring leaders through community service and civic engagement for the common good.

 

Short-Term Goals

  • Enable girls to discover personal worth, strengths, and God-given purpose.
  • Ensure 100% of our members graduate from high school and go on to college or a career.
  • Help girls develop emotional intelligence, curiosity for learning, critical thinking, and life skills for the 21st century.
  • Teach girls how to keep their bodies healthy.
  • Teach girls the power of generosity through volunteer service and advocacy.

 

10-Year Outcomes Worthy of Celebration

  • 95% of members have graduated high school.
  • The majority of our graduates have pursued college and are employed.
  • Less than 10% of members have become pregnant.
  • 75% of high school members serve as trained peer mentors to groups of middle school girls.
  • Kansas City, KS Public Schools has endorsed Young Women on the Move as its primary mentoring program for adolescent girls.
  • Members who attend Young Women on the Move 1 year or more show significant reduction in school disciplinary behaviors.
  • Members who attend Young Women on the Move one year or more show significant improvement in communication skills, school success, school connectedness, personal accountability and responsibility, self-esteem, and resiliency.
  • We have referred many girls for additional counseling to overcome post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, self-harming behaviors, and suicidal thoughts.