We have an outstanding board for Main St. Foundation. Our board is as follows:
Rhonda Higley – Chair
Mark Wolters – Vice Chair
Keith Reuther – Secretary/Pastor
Melissa Micek – Treasurer
Brandon Barnhart – Board Member
Albert Popp – Board Member
Travis Rickford – Board Member
To develop character in youth through relationships.
To become a leading example of character development, community partnership and relationship building for youth.
Our Core Values
How We Began
Main St. Foundation was sparked four years ago outside of the local pizza shop when our now executive director encountered twelve high school students with nothing to do on a Saturday night. Living in a small town in Northwest Kansas, “nothing to do” on a weekend has been an issue for years. The truth is once youth have left a sporting event or seen the one movie that comes to our local theater, there is nothing else to do as a teenager.
After that a conversation sparked into an idea. In August of 2014, the Main St. Foundation held it’s first meeting. Our mission was not only to give local youth something to do on the weekends but to reconnect them into the community. In a world where they could find things to do online at home our youth had lost sense that the community not only wanted them, but cared for them deeply. Our vision became to build relationships with youth through fun activities that brought connection.
It quickly became clear that mere activities were not enough, but discovered a central place for youth in 7th -12th grade, to be able to drop in, was going to be necessary. We would need a youth center. It took some negotiations but we purchased a bar on main street that had been abandoned for over two years, that happened to be two blocks from our junior and senior high school.
On August 2015, after six months of initial renovation, with support from the community and small grants the doors of the 5ten Main Youth Center flew open and we are already coming to a close of our 3rd year. We have renovated that back garage and it has become our local food pantry. 5ten, as it is now affectionately called, has become part of our youth’s lives and part of our community. As a matter of fact this has become a second home for many of our youth in Atwood. In this spot youth hang out with friends, work on homework, enjoy 5th Quarters after home sporting events, watch movies, have tutoring available and the list of things “to do” goes on. More so the vision is being realized, our youth see 5ten as a place to find safety and the caring of a community that surrounds them.
Yet, we don’t want to stop here. Our desire is expand our programming and offerings so the needs of our youth can be more deeply met. Currently, we are working on bringing in classes (computer, life skills, engineering, etc) and putting more on the schedule. We know that some students need outdoor space as well. It is exciting that our city recently gave Main St. Foundation the deed to the land behind the building. We hope to be able to raise the funds to build a half-court basketball court and a lounge area.
Jenny Popp has been working with youth for 17 yrs. She has experience growing and running her own business for over 16 years and has began working as a CTE Teacher at the High School. Most of all, Jenny has an incredible heart for reaching, encouraging, and loving youth.