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RDA receives grant from Kansas Mentors and Volunteer Kansas

Kansas Mentors and Volunteer Kansas Announce Grant Recipients

Funds will aid mentoring programs to ensure safe mentoring relationships

TOPEKA, Kan. – Every January, during the last five years, Volunteer Kansas has awarded background check funding to Kansas Mentors for distribution to qualifying mentoring organizations. This grant funding allows mentoring organizations in Kansas, who meet minimum qualifications, the ability to conduct Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) background checks on potential mentors.  This year, 19 mentoring organizations have been awarded funding through this opportunity.

“Kansas’ mentoring programs are reporting significant declines in funding while an increase in the need for services,” said Cheri Faunce, director of Kansas Mentors. “These grant funds are a strategic investment to ensure more young Kansans have access to a safe and caring adult role model.”

Background checks are an essential component of the screening process to help ensure the safety of youth involved in mentoring programs. Considering every potential mentor should complete and pass a background check before they can begin mentoring, the cost of completing these checks can be substantial to mentoring organizations, putting a funding barrier between the number of young people a program can serve. These grants serve as an avenue to bridge the gap and encourage mentoring programs to match even more mentors to mentees.

“Since we started awarding Kansas Mentors the background check grant in 2012, mentoring programs have matched more than 10,000 youths with caring adult mentors who were screened through this funding,” said Nola Brown, director of Volunteer Kansas. “This year, Volunteer Kansas and Kansas Mentors hope to significantly increase the number of mentor/mentee matches across the state by making the grant available to even more youth-serving organizations. Every youngster in our state who desires a mentor should be afforded a safe, caring match.”

Background Check Grant Recipients

  • Anthony-Harper Unified School District 361: Runner Buddies
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Flint Hills Inc.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Salina
  • Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence
  • Butler County Department on Aging: Foster Grandparent Program
  • YWCA of Northeast Kansas: Girls on the Run of Northeast Kansas
    Kidzcope Inc.
  • Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters Inc.
  • Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy
  • Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas: Compeer Mentoring
  • Reno County Communities That Care, Association
  • Rosedale Development Association: Rosedale Healthy Kids
  • Flint Hills Volunteer Center: Schools of Hope Program
  • Senior Services Inc. of Wichita
  • The Pando Initiative
  • South Central Kansas Youth for Christ: Match Mentoring
  • Staley School of Leadership Studies, Kansas State University: Academic Mentoring
  • Youth Horizons

Kansas Mentors is a statewide mentoring partnership that connects existing mentoring programs with one another and serves as a resource center for communities wishing to start a program. The organization is committed to providing every young Kansan access to a caring and quality mentor through recruitment, awareness and training efforts. Kansas Mentors is a program of the Kansas Volunteer Commission and is housed within the Kansas State Department of Education. To learn more, please visit or contact Cheri Faunce at (785) 368-6211.

Volunteer Kansas Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charity based in Wichita, Kan. is the organization’s website devoted to increasing volunteerism in the state of Kansas and providing a hub for Kansans to find other Kansans who may need volunteer or materials help. The website is a free service to individuals and organizations.  The vision of Volunteer Kansas is to move Kansas from the state ranking of number five for volunteerism to number one. To learn more, please visit or contact Nola Brown at (316) 260-3353.