PREP-KC believes every student should plan for and be prepared to pursue post-secondary education, whether it’s an industry certification or a 2-year or 4-year degree. Far too often, students from low-income backgrounds don’t have the information and experiences they need to learn about and compete for high-need, high paying careers. PREP-KC closes the knowledge gap for urban students by implementing unique strategies that allow students to explore college and career opportunities through hands-on learning in real world settings. PREP-KC is developing and implementing powerful early career awareness and exploration activities for students in 5th through 12th grade.

Campus Visits

I've seen a lot of growth in our students after participating in PREP-KC strategies due to the real-life experiences they are getting along with mentoring and being on a college campus. The skills they have developed will benefit them immediately as well as prepare them for the future.

John Miller, Hickman Mills

PREP-KC understands that prospective first generation college students need experiences that are tailored to both provide them with information about post-secondary education, and develop the motivation and confidence they need to continue their education beyond high school. Customized campus visits are a powerful tool PREP-KC supports to demystify college for first-generation students. PREP-KC’s customized campus visits go beyond the traditional college tour to include panel discussions with current college students and faculty, deep dives into specific departments and degree programs, and opportunities to engage in labs, seminars, and other authentic college learning experiences.

College Enrollment Initiative

Today I learned that you should plan for college, get involved in extracurricular activities, and study for the ACT.

KCKPS Student

PREP-KC helps partner high schools develop The College Enrollment Initiative that achieves three necessary steps for students to finalize their postsecondary plans: identifying the types of postsecondary institutions that are the best fit for each student, applying for admission, and applying for financial aid. PREP-KC helps high schools design comprehensive plans that build their capacity to support students through the college exploration and application process. PREP-KC has the flexibility to support a variety of approaches and activities that help schools help their students through the college application and enrollment process.

Career Jumping

At today's Career Jumping, I learned that there are many different jobs you might not even think exist.

Center Student

PREP-KC developed career jumping to provide urban high school students with access to a wide range of Kansas City’s professionals. By taking the concept of speed dating and applying it to career exploration, Career Jumping connects each student with up to 15 professionals in only 90 minutes. During Career Jumping conversations, students often meet and interact with professionals from different industries for the first time. During these face-to-face learning opportunities, students get to ask professionals about how they prepared for and entered their profession, what a day in their professional life looks like, and what advice they would give to a student interested in their particular career field. Career jumping provides students with a chance to learn about a variety of career possibilities and begin to narrow down their career exploration to the fields that interest them the most. Career Jumping is a great place for professionals to support PREP-KC by volunteering to talk with students—click here to volunteer!

Click Here to Volunteer!

Worksite Visits

Through our partnership with PREP-KC, students have access to opportunities that they wouldn't have otherwise. Students are meeting with professionals and participating in hands-on experiences at area businesses that are truly inspiring our students to prepare for their futures! We see profound growth in our students because of the invaluable exposure to real-world experiences.

Rhonda Reddick, Principal, Allen Village High School

Taking students out of the classroom and into the workplace is one of the most effective ways to open young peoples’ eyes and minds to a potential career. During PREP-KC’s worksite visits, students learn about a specific business through tours, interactions with employees, and hands-on projects designed by the host company. During these projects, professionals guide student teams through creating solutions to real-world industry challenges and effectively communicating about their solutions.

Because the path to college doesn't have to be a lonely one.