Big Brothers Big Sisters invests in Kansas City youth through summer internship program

Big Brothers Big Sisters invests in Kansas City youth through summer internship program


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Big Brothers Big Sisters is finding more ways to invest in the youth of the Kansas City metro area by offering a summer internship program.

India Wells-Carter, the founder of Fresh Factory KC, jumped at the opportunity to have an intern work alongside her.

“What business owner doesn’t want extra help,” Wells-Carter said.

Having an extra set of hands around was ideal for Wells-Carter who opened her business at Zona Rosa in May. She was partnered with intern Mekhiya Brummall through BBBS.

“Every aspect of starting a new business and kind of working through the kinks and the excitement around it all, I believe Mekhiya has had a chance to see and be a part of,” Wells-Carter said.

Three years ago, BBBS started the summer internship program to help Kansas City youth gain real life experiences in the work force as well as learn life skills from local entrepreneurs.

“Our ultimate goal for every one of our littles is that they reach their own personal goals and that they can earn a sustained living wage, so really anything that we can do to position our youth to achieve that, that’s what we want to do,” Tami Carolan, workforce development and community partnerships manager at BBBS, said.

Brummall spent the summer working at Fresh Factory KC and is entering her freshman year at Northwest Missouri State University this fall.

“It was a really good experience for me because I had never seen how a business works really before, besides just going into a store or something. Actually seeing how hard she works and promoting herself and working with others to promote her business, it was really good to see,” Brummall said.

The internship program is grant funded. BBBS pays the interns while local business owners share their skills and knowledge.

BBBS is capable of placing 10 teenagers with business owners, but would like to receive more grant funding to offer the opportunity to many more.

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