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This month’s cover model, Kim Warren, is no stranger to the community. The St. Joseph native is a role model and leader to so many as the chief executive officer of MidCity Excellence Community Learning Center, assistant pastor of Faith Family Worship Center and the owner of the American Grant Writing Firm.

Warren has been happily married to the Rev. R. Robert Warren for nearly 30 years and is the second of seven children of the Rev. James and Cozette Foster. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Missouri Western State University after graduating from Central High School. She later obtained her master’s degree in education and certification in grant writing from Northwest Missouri State University.

She and her husband founded MidCity Excellence in 2001. The nonprofit is located within a 54-block inner city neighborhood that is often called a “slum and blighted area.” The couple, however, see the possibilities as an endless “gold mine” and often say something “good comes from the ‘hood.” Warren was instrumental in securing the four historic properties in which the center resides and clearing the mortgage, in full, within the first 13 months of business and ministry.

MidCity has engaged and empowered more than 1,700 youth and hundreds of adults in culturally sensitive programs, attracting residents from eight different counties. Community programs that operate under this nonprofit include: “Inspire” Family Counseling, the MLK Solutions Summit, S.T.E.A.M. Super Science Experiments and Explosions, MCE Youth Choir & Dance Troupe, Sons of Thunder Stomp & Trash Can Band and the MCE Book Club. Warren’s passion is to inspire impoverished youth to graduate from high school, empower adults to discover their life’s purpose and to encourage make positive contributions to their family, city, state, nation and world.

Warren, a certified grant writer, has created almost 411 new nonprofits in 44 different states and has provided professional development, grant/nonprofit management training and consultation for a plethora of international clients from Liberia, Portugal and Togo to Cameroon and South Sudan. For the past five years, Warren has been selected to act as a grant reviewer for grants funded by the Missouri Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Warren formerly served as the sole television host for Trinity Broadcasting Network’s “Joy in our Town,” which aired for eight years to over 2.3 million viewers in Missouri and Kansas. She acted as an adjunct professor of education at Missouri Western State University and was the grant writer and director of the 21st Century Schools for the Superintendent of Stewartsville C-2 Public School District.

She was the YWCA’s first “Woman of the Year” in the Workplace 2002, won the sate of Missouri’s Community Continuing Education Award, was a Black Archives Hall of Fame inductee in 2015 with her husband, received the Mayor’s People of the Year Distinguished Citizens Award and won the MLK Jr. “Drum Major for Justice Award” at MWSU 2019.

Warren’s mask was made by Ronnie Grant and Derrick May, owners of The Underkutter.