The Barstow School student first became aware of issues related to orphanage care when, at 8 years old, she went to China with her family to adopt her infant sister. That experience, along with stories she’d heard from other students who had been on mission trips to orphanages, sparked her interest in joining a Global Orphan Project trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
But McGowin didn’t want to go empty handed. She and her friends decided to host a talent show with the proceeds going to help the people of the impoverished nation still reeling from an earthquake in 2010. Between ticket sales and additional donations, they raised more than $8,000, which they used to purchase chickens that provide an ongoing source of sustenance for the orphanage. Earlier this year, Grace and her group, Geaux Haiti!, organized Party with a Purpose, collaborating with local businesses to provide food, entertainment and raffle prizes.
The event raised more than $6,300. McGowin and friends will have the opportunity to see the impact their work has when they head back to Haiti in May.
Maria Meyers – The director of the UMKC Innovation Center, is one of the true driving forces of entrepreneurship in Kansas City. Myers created programs such as KC SourceLink and Whiteboard to Boardroom, and spearheaded the formation of Digital Sandbox KC, which has successfully helped 19 startup companies raise $7 million in investments since early 2013.
Shannon Hickey – The new executive director of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association had a lot on her plate already leading the organization’s mission to represent, educate and promote the restaurant and hospitality industries. Now Hickey has a side dish: She just received an appointment by Mayor Sly James to the Health Department’s Food Protection Advisory Board