Kendrick Glover, GEM co-founder and executive director, talks about his team during the nonprofit’s grand opening of its new home Feb. 28. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Kendrick Glover, GEM co-founder and executive director, talks about his team during the nonprofit’s grand opening of its new home Feb. 28. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

GEM’s new home to help youth, young adults

Mentoring nonprofit continues to grow

As the need grows to help vulnerable youth, so too have the resources at an ambitious Kent nonprofit mentoring program.

GEM (Glover Empower Mentoring) – a community based organization that supports youth and young adults in the area – has a larger, more centralized and convenient home.

City and community leaders, the Kent Chamber of Commerce and families joined the GEM team on Feb. 28 to embrace its new center, at 827 N. Central Ave., Suite B-109, for a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony.

GEM opened its new doors in December, but Kendrick Glover, the organization’s co-founder and executive director, wanted to officially celebrate the move in February, Black History Month.

“We saw a need in the community and we addressed it,” said Glover, a former counselor at Kent-Meridian High School who overcame a troubled life as a teen to find a way to reach out and help others. “We’ve been an all-volunteer program for three years. … It was hard work and dedication that brought us to this point.”

A flow of donations and multiple grants, particularly those from King County, helped financially support the move. GEM humbly began in 2014, holding sessions at the Kent Parks Community Center.

Since then, the reach has expanded. GEM programs serve about 250 clients – boys and girls, young men and women, ages 10-24 – year round.

Working together with city, county and other community organizations, GEM provides mentoring (one-on-one, group, in-school and after-school), academic tutoring and life skills, and a diversion program that works to keep youth out the criminal justice system.

Its mission is to inform, interact and inspire young adults. Its foundation is education.

“The issues we deal with on a daily basis are not new to the Kent community, these issues are landscaped across the nation,” Glover said. “We are addressing them in a unique approach. … My team who is working with these young people reflect the community they are serving.”

One of Glover’s team leaders is Mike Jones, who began as a volunteer and now manages cases in GEM’s diversion program. Jones likes the new home, allowing better access to programs, services and other possibilities under one roof.

“We’re going to bring in more youth. We’re going to need more space and we’re going to need more support,” he said, “and this is what it’s all about.”

Glover said the new center offers separate rooms for programs. Plans include making space available for a music studio.

Mayor Dana Ralph likes what she sees in the organization’s efforts to better youth and the community in which they live.

“The work that you are doing with our kids is what sets the tone for the city and all of its future,” Ralph told the gathering. “Everything that happens today is what’s going to matter five years from now, 10 years from now, and making sure our kids have everything they need to be successful.

“It’s all our jobs. It’s a partnership. I am so excited to find ways we can work together.”

Jashaun Brown, 12, enjoys being a part of it. He said he felt like he was part of a family after taking in GEM’s summer programming.

“I’ve made friends,” he said. “Here, you learn a lot of good things about life, how to take care of yourself and how to become a leader. … You learn how to advocate for yourself and how to advocate for others.”

To learn more, visit gempowermentor.org.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Kendrick Glover, GEM co-founder and executive director, shares a moment with Mayor Dana Ralph during the nonprofit’s grand opening of its new home Feb. 28. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Kendrick Glover, GEM co-founder and executive director, shares a moment with Mayor Dana Ralph during the nonprofit’s grand opening of its new home Feb. 28. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

More in News

Jail bars. File photo
Renton man convicted in 2018 Des Moines homicide

Jurors found 28-year-old Yourhighness Jeramiah Bolar of Renton guilty of two felony charges.

t
One of two victims identified in fiery Kent crash

Kristen Anne Meyers, 53, died in May 11 crash on West Hill, according to medical examiner

t
City-owned ShoWare Center in Kent loses $742,675 in 2023

Losses lower than projected but expenses continue to exceed revenue at 6,200-seat arena

t
Kent firefighters extinguish two fires on the same morning | Photos

Friday, May 17 at apartment leasing office in the Valley and at a vacant East Hill house

Courtesy Photo, City of Kent
City of Kent population drops by 1,051 in 2023 compared to 2022

Decline similar to many cities of 50,000 or more across the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau

t
Kent Police Blotter: April 25 to May 8

Incidents include burglaries, robberies, shootings

t
Rape charges dismissed against former Kent school bus driver

Prosecutors decide they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt due to medical tests

t
Feds indict 9 South King County residents on drug trafficking charges

Those accused from Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Enumclaw

A screenshot of King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn speaking about a proposed amendment for the proposed $20 minimum wage ordinance. (Screenshot)
King County approves $20.29 minimum wage for unincorporated areas

Councilmember Reagan Dunn and more than a dozen business owners argued tips and health care expenses should be a part of the new wage. The council passed the ordinance without the amendment.

Dave Upthegrove. COURTESY PHOTO
Upthegrove one of seven candidates for state lands commissioner

His King County Council member’s district includes part of Kent

COURTESY PHOTO, King County Elections
Candidates file for Kent-area races for Congress, Legislature

Incumbents face challengers in two Congressional contests and four state House races

t
Two die in single-car crash in Kent on West Hill

Sedan crashed Saturday evening, May 11 into tree and caught fire in 2400 block of South 272nd Street