Pastor Adrian Roberson was initially too stunned to speak Thursday when he was awarded a $20,000 grant for KC United — a youth sports initiative he co-founded in 2009 with his wife Vicky. But the duo already have plans for the money: spreading blessings.
“I want to say, ‘Glory to God,’” Adrian Roberson shared moments after the surprise. “We came into this work only to see our community be better and stronger. This [grant] is new territory for us. I’m speechless.”
The award comes from the newly-founded nonprofit BeGreat Together, which sought out nominations for grassroots changemakers in Black and Latino communities. Launched in September, BeGreat Together selected Adrian Roberson as its first-ever honoree.
Click here to read more about BeGreat Together.
Watch the Robersons’ reaction to the announcement surprise below, then keep reading.
KC United provides a safe outlet for youth and their families to participate in sports. The Robersons work directly with the community and other local organizations to lead experiences that strengthen emotional regulation, teamwork, resilience and connection, they explained.
Most years, KC United starts from zero, the couple said.
“Everything we get goes back into the kids, back into the families and back into the community; to be able to go into 2022 with reserves is a blessing,” Adrian Roberson said. “It allows us to exhale a little bit. We’ve also got amazing volunteers who have never asked for anything, so this gives us a chance to be a blessing to them.”
Vicky Roberson expressed her excitement to further the work she loves so dearly.
“We love our community. We love the children. We love the parents,” Vicky Roberson shared. “We just want them to be the best that they can be, so that’s why we do what we do.”
KC United is about more than sports, Chandra Green noted.
“The work they’re doing is incredible,” shared Green, who serves on the organization’s board. It’s about addressing trauma; it’s about supporting the families; it’s about making a better community. … This is just the beginning of what’s to come.”
Click here to learn more about KC United.
Along with the changemaker grant, BeGreat Together awarded two schools within Kansas City Public Schools $10,000 each to support their innovative efforts.
Woodland Early Learning Center’s Global Academy is a pre-kindergarten school that specializes in aiding recently arrived immigrants and refugees for up to one year after arrival.
“They will use the $10,000 grant money to provide them a warm welcome and guide [students] to becoming successful and thriving members of our community,” BeGreat Together shared in a press release.
The early learning center plans to do so by providing their students with the necessary resources such as interpretation, social work, health and wellness and trauma counseling.
Success Academy at Anderson, the other school recipient, plans to put its $10,000 toward a new family and consumer science class.
“That will directly teach students skills for the real world, including: math, science, health, nutrition, kitchen and cooking safety and etiquette to better prepare their students for professional careers and independent life,” the press release said.
Click here to learn more about the work BeGreat Together does in Kansas City and communities across the nation.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.
For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn