The K.E.N. Fund, The King – Elaines’ Nobility Scholarship Fund
We have set up a memorial scholarship fund in KJ Rhodes' name, called The K.E.N. Fund, The King – Elaines’ Nobility Scholarship Fund to honor his life and legacy.
At Metro United Way, we have long recognized that providing valuable resources to individuals and families to promote financial independence, educational attainment and healthy lifestyles are critical. We’ve made considerable strides in addressing the needs of thousands of individuals across these core areas, but we know that our vision of a community whose people achieve their fullest potential has not been realized by all. We also recognize the critical role Metro United Way can play in making systemic changes to address the root causes of need in our community, in addition to meeting its immediate needs.
Over the past six months, Metro United Way embarked on an extensive fact-finding initiative to gather and analyze data so that we can evolve our investment strategy for maximum impact in the coming decade.
This effort included more than 70 individual interviews and 20 focus groups engaging more than 250 community leaders and residents across the seven counties we serve. We also conducted an analytical review of 13 recent data reports centered around our community. While the research affirmed the investments Metro United Way has been making in early childhood education, financial independence, and equity are aligned to the greatest needs in our community, it also indicated that the status quo will not address the persistent and growing gaps that exist.
A sampling of the facts is startling:
Transitioning to Transformational Impact Investments
Over the next several months, we will be implementing a community-led, data driven investment strategy that will allow us to create lasting, measurable outcomes that eliminate inequities and empower our neighbors and children with sustainable assets and workable tools to build lives of promise and fulfillment.
After all, that’s the primary reason people trust Metro United Way as stewards of their community investments. We’re entrusted to continue to dig deeper to uncover the root causes stalling progress toward fulfilled lives in our community, and to identify the most effective ways to correct them.
Some of the work has already begun.
As leaders in nonprofit excellence in our community, we want to ensure that we are setting our nonprofit partners up to maximize impact. This is just one way Metro United Way is serving as the thought-leader and strategic steward, moving the needle in a meaningful way in our seven counties. This root-cause focused investment strategy is one that we will continue to grow as more transformative strategies are identified.
We are not changing our vision or who we are; we are seeking to further improve the community so that all can achieve their full potential.