Congressman Cleaver Brings Minddrive to the Hill

Jun 6, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC - Congressman Cleaver welcomed Minddrive, an after-school program that works with at-risk teenagers, to Washington this week. Minddrive focuses on engaging students, mentoring them, teaching them, and giving them skills that will help lead to sustainable lives.

"I have been inspired by these young people for quite some time now," said Congressman Cleaver. "From their trip to Washington last year for Earth Day, to bringing the White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley to tour and visit with them in Kansas City."

More than 20 students, along with their mentors, made the trip. Whether a Republican, a Democrat, or anything in between – it is hard to argue with the virtue of young people setting a goal, working toward it, and succeeding. 

"There are students who were told by teachers they would never graduate, but are now on the honor roll. There are students who were skipping school and getting in trouble, but are now getting their GEDs and working. I was pleased to be able to organize the stop and a briefing during their stay in Washington, so they could meet with federal officials interested in their program and their work. This trip started in Kansas City, and they made stops in Akron and Pittsburgh, before rolling into DC."

From Capitol Hill they will go on to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and end their journey in New York City. MINDDRIVE’S mission is to inspire students to learn, expand their vision of the future, and to have a positive impact on urban workforce development. The program is funded through the national sponsorships of Bridgestone, Hertz Corporation, SONIC®, America's Drive-In®, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), VML, and KCP&L as well as through local foundations and individual contributors. MINDDRIVE serves 30 students from the urban core of Kansas City, currently working with 5 area schools; there are 21 students participating in Automotive Design Studio and 9 in Contemporary Communications. The students choose their course and also are given the freedom to align with the particular aspect of the project that gets them the most jazzed. Mentors play a huge role in finding what that spark is for each student, then figuring out a way to inspire them in that direction.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee and also serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus.