An innocent teenage girl should not be molested since second grade. A 16 year old boy should not be forced to smoke marijuana by his own father. A 15 year old should not have to break up a fist fight between his mother and her lover. A 14 year old boy should not be disowned by his mother, not allowed to come inside when he needs to, and utterly forgotten on birthdays and Christmas. A 15 year old girl should not be selling other younger teens Vodka from her bedroom as her parents crassly laugh it off.
These things – and countless others – should not happen anywhere… but they do, and they’re happening daily here in Lee’s Summit. As believers in our powerful Lord Jesus Christ, we also know that the answer to “How could you let these things happen to people you love?” is actually another question from Him: “Why are YOU allowing these things to happen to the people I love?” Realizing the magnitude of this charge, we felt God’s call to create a safe place for teens. A place they can be themselves. A place they can unload their baggage on caring adults who love them and mentor them through life’s rough spots and glorious moments. A place where they can hone their skills and develop new ones. A place they can call their own.
The future of Pro Deo Youth Center is deeply rooted in the dreams of the teens, the staff, and people who closely partner with us through this adventure. Dreams include: a venue for teens to express their musical talents, an indoor skate park, a garage for youth to learn necessities about vehicles and maintain their bikes/skateboards, a coffee bar/lounge area to chill and have sincere conversations, an art room for the raw talent these teens possess, caring and loving staff to come alongside the teens and live life together, community service opportunities, job skill training, resume building, special events, fun activities, character development, and many more.
We are certain God has bigger plans for Pro Deo than we can even imagine. He has shown us immeasurably more of His goodness since Pro Deo was started in 2009 than we could have ever hoped. We press forward with eager anticipation, watching closely to see how He chooses to mold the teens as we delve into their lives, one at a time.
About our founders
Andy and Kylie have found their passion and calling. Andy and Kylie are best friends and college sweethearts, both from Missouri Western State University. Where Andy studied criminal justice and Kylie studied elementary education. After leaving Missouri Western they got married and started their life in Lee’s Summit. That was just the beginning of a journey that would lead Andy and Kylie to found Pro Deo Youth Center. Kylie and Andy use their background of teaching, youth ministry, character development, love for learning, new adventure, and their love for God to drive their passion for the teens in the community. It is out of this love and desire for growth among our teens that Pro Deo Youth Center organically formed and continues to grow.