Urban Ranger Corps
5908 Swope Parkway
Kansas City MO 64130
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 333-6455
Mission Statement
To help prepare at-risk inner city youth for responsible and productive futures through a program of disciplined work experience and service in their community; leadership development; and individualized planning for post-High School careers.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. J. Erik Dickinson
Board Chair Mr. Kevin Henderson
Board Chair Company Affiliation College Basketball Experience
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2003
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement To help prepare at-risk inner city youth for responsible and productive futures through a program of disciplined work experience and service in their community; leadership development; and individualized planning for post-High School careers.
Background Statement

The Urban Ranger Corps (URC) provides youth programming to boys and young men grades 7th-12th, ages 12 to 18, with a unique opportunity to develop the appropriate life skills necessary for them to become successful and contributing members of society. URC operates annually, from June through May, and is broken down into two sessions; a Summer Session (June-August) and a School-Year Session (September-May). Since our founding (2005) we have worked with more than 650 young men; with 100 participants enrolled in the current program year. Ninety (90%) of participants attend Kansas City Missouri public or charter schools. Eighty-six (86%) of participants are from single parent, low income households.

URC utilizes evidence based tools and widespread institutional partnerships to deliver quality projects and activities to our participants. All projects and activities are designed to offset some of the major problems affecting youth in the urban core while at the same time working to upgrade the status of our future human resource pool.
URC makes available to young men opportunities to expand their involvement in activities that will augment their future personal growth and development as members of a worldwide human resource pool. We offer each participant a global view in the content areas of Career & Academic Enhancement, Financial & Entrepreneurial Education and Neighborhood & Community Involvement. What makes URC unique is that for every program season, we evaluate these content areas in conjunction with the greatest needs of our participants. Thus, we develop specific projects and activities that are designed to upgrade each participant’s complete ability to become successful and productive citizens.
URC hopes to infuse a strong building block into Kansas City metropolitan area by offering high impact programming in a small community format that can be seamlessly duplicable. By providing specific and intentional services and activities, each participant will have a greater opportunity to be viable contributors and benefactors of URC and the Greater Kansas City community.
Impact Statement

2017 Accomplishments: 
  • Provided services to 74 young men (12-18)
            --73.4% of students have a GPA of 2.0 or higher
            --32.8% of students have a GPA of 3.0 or higher
            --67.3% of students completed 20 or more hours of community service
            --42% of students completed 40 or more hours of community service
            --73.4% of students attend school regularly (mission no more than 5 days)
            --93.5% of students served completed the program year
  • Implemented our Overcoming Obstacle program where rangers attend sessions throughout the program year on Conflict Resolution (in conjunction with Peace Works and the Center for Conflict Resolution)
  • During the summer a team of rangers worked at Be Free Farms learning about what it takes to run a business, taking care of bees and working in the gardens.
  • Added new members to our Board of Directors, enhancing the diversity of the board.
2018 Goals:
  • Upgrade and/or enhance the student’s environment in order to foster positive social interaction, improved academic performance and worthwhile community involvement.
  • Upgrade and/or enhance student’s ability to make positive choices when confronted with opposition, obstacles and life set-backs.
  • Upgrade and/or enhance student’s relationships with caring adults, providing perspective, guiding their participation in constructive activities and develop a consistent sense of boundaries and responsibility.
Needs Statement

  • 15.6” HD Laptop (3)
  • 8” Apple Ipads (6)
  • Sony HD Video Camcorder
  • 70” LED TV
  • Pull down Projection Screen
  • Video Projector
Service Categories
Youth Development Programs
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core

Our work sites are primarily located within the Kansas City, MO urban core. Those boundaries are:

  • Missouri River to the north;
  • 95th Street to the south;
  • Kansas City, Missouri city limits to east; and
  • Troost to the west.


Other work sites are located throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

I have known about the Urban Ranger Corps for several years now, have served on their Board since 2012 and am their current Board Chair.
I hail from the same general neighborhood where Urban Rangers headquarters are located, attended junior high and high school in that same area and know what a program like URC means to kids from our urban core. I benefitted from similar organizations as a young person growing up on the SE side of Kansas City.
To me URC is a unique and vital organization. They do so much more than offer a summer program during which time rangers can earn a stipend/salary; work with them in school to maintain grades enabling them to move to the next grade level; and help them to look at their futures after high school graduation.
In many ways, our society has shifted towards too many negative influences. As such, Urban Ranger Corps provides a different perspective, intervention and hope to many young men who are members of the program.
Young men, ages 12-18, are given an opportunity to learn about themselves first and then they begin to learn the tenants of leadership skills, self-reliance, hard work, accountability and responsibility which will benefit them the rest of their lives in an ever changing and challenging world.
Program teachers are primarily African-American men who are successful in their own lives and careers and serve as good examples, guides, life coaches and mentors.
Our Rangers are active participants in the community. They give back! They learn about the needs of our community through volunteer efforts – from preparing boxes at our local food pantry, assisting communities with their clean-up activities; helping prepare disaster aid kits for those suffering from a catastrophic event; working on community gardens to help alleviate the “food desert” in the urban core.
Through Urban Ranger Corps, these young men are given the opportunity to look beyond and to dream bigger dreams for their lives, their communities and others.
By supporting Urban Ranger Corps today with your generosity, these young men, in turn, will have greater opportunity to further their lives in very meaningful ways that will result in lasting legacies of excellence for themselves and their (our) respective communities!
Kevin Henderson
Board Chair


The URC program is broken down into three main areas of focus:

  • Career & Academic Achievement  The primary function of the Career and Leadership Development component is to provide activities and resources that will enhance a ranger’s ability to (1) understand self and human characteristics, (2) build communication skills, group interaction, and team building (3) gain basic concepts of leadership theory and organization.
  • Financial & Entrepreneurial Education component has been designed to provide rangers with an opportunity to capture the “American Dream” by introducing them to the basics of financial literacy entrepreneurship.
  • Neighborhood and Community Involvement component represents “civic responsibility, getting rangers involved with community service activities, encouraging them to see the world in different ways and put their own family experiences and values into a wider context.
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), ,
Short-Term Success

Of the more than 570 youth we have worked with: 85 percent completed the summer program; 100 percent of those successfully completing our summer program returned to school in the fall; 98 percent of this group successfully completed their academic year; 89 percent of rangers in their final year of high school graduated on schedule (vs. a 57.2 percent graduation rate for Kansas City MO public school enrollees.

Long-Term Success

Since 2007, we have worked with 46 rangers who were high school seniors. 45 one of them graduated high school and went on to college, the military or entered the work force.

Program Success Monitored By

URC’s annual program is designed to assist boys and young men discover their individual talents, skills and abilities while guiding them successfully from childhood to adulthood. Our ability to ascertain the effect and/or level(s) of impact the program has within their lives and the community as a whole will increase the productivity of URC in the urban core for years to come. The primary concern is to be able to determine if on-going program activities are having a progressive and positive effect on the participants. 

We utilize the Apricot Client Management/Tracking System to verify, document, and quantify activities and their effects. This system is utilized in all facets of our program and designed to be updated and maintained by the Success Coach.
Data will be gathered to conduct controlled observations of rangers in a longitudinal manner. The progress, success, and shortfalls of every participant in the program will be collected.
Examples of Program Success

ROBERT DAYS graduated in May 2015 from the University of Missouri, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration emphasis in Marketing, and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Robert is currently an employee for AT&T in retail. In the future he would also like to begin to take advantage of his entrepreneurship minor and create his own entertainment marketing company.

Robert has had a long tenure with the Urban Rangers starting the program in 2007. He has been active each summer with the Rangers since that date, with his most recent position being the Assistant Program Director and Team Leader in the summers of 2014 and 2015. Robert appreciates how the Urban Ranger’s program has allowed him to become a leader in his community and set the foundation for his work ethic that he still takes advantage of today. Robert has expressed an interest in serving on our board as a way of “paying it forward.”

CEO Comments

It’s hard to believe that I have served as the President of this great organization for 5 years! There have been a lot of changes in those 5 years.
  • Lynn Johnson joined the staff as our Director of Operations. Lynn has been a catalyst for many programmatic changes moving the program forward from being a summer work program to incorporating mentoring, college tours, internship programs and enhanced educational experiences into the curriculum.
  • We have grown from our humble beginnings of serving 12 youth in 2012 to serving 94 this program year.
  • The support from the community continues to grow each year. The name Urban Ranger Corps is becoming known throughout the community and we are contacted by community organizations, churches and governmental agencies to provide services –anywhere from cutting grass on empty lots, working on community gardens, to starting an internship program with the Blue Springs Police Department.
  • Our rangers have more opportunities to complete their mandatory 20 hours of community service because we continue to get requests for their services – community clean-up projects, participating in community events, building community gardens, and volunteering at several food banks.
  • We have been able to increase the staff with the hiring of 3 success coaches - Dr. Ernest Middleton, Alex Moyer and Ben Suber. Their being on staff has enabled us to better mentor the young men during the school year to ensure they are on track to moving to the next grade level and/or graduating.
  • We implemented the college tour initiative for our high school juniors and seniors, giving them the opportunity to visit local/regional colleges to see what campus live is like and to learn what it takes to enter college—grades, tuition, etc. This year they visited the University of Missouri, UMKC, KU, and the University of Nebraska.
  • We have a new partnership with the Kansas City Public Schools. Our 7th and 8th grade students enrolled in either Central Middle or ACE Preparatory schools will participate. They will be mentored by our Success Coaches helping them develop three fundamental skills on which all other skills can be built: communication, decision making, and goal setting.
I am looking forward to the next 5 years with a sense of anticipation. Anticipation that we continue to grow the program and that more opportunities will be made available to the young men we serve to ensure they have “hope” in a brighter future.
J. Erik Dickinson

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. J. Erik Dickinson
Term Start July 2012

J. Erik Dickinson joined the Urban Ranger Corps as Executive Director in July 2012, and was named President upon the retirement of Founder and President, Fr. John Wandless.

Mr. Dickinson has more than 30 years of experience in management and development of youth with the Boy Scouts of American and the YMCA, including executing fundraising campaigns and special events; training and motivating staff; recruiting and motivating top level volunteers; preparing budgets; planning and providing programs; marketing and public relations; and building relationships with institutions, organizations, neighborhoods and the general public.
Erik is a native of and attended schools in Kansas City, Kansas. He holds the BA in Personnel Administration (University of Kansas, 1991).
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
Rev. John Wandless Jan 2003 - Dec 2012
Senior Staff
Title Program Director

Lynn Johnson joined the Urban Ranger Corps team in the fall of 2013 as Program Director. Lynn’s primary responsibility is to build a successful program model and lead goal-oriented teams while overseeing the delivery of quality programs and services.  Lynn has 25 years of service in youth development, including work within areas of education, leadership, mental health, juvenile delinquency, and emergency family support. He has served in such capacities as an After School Program Coordinator/Tutor for the Economic Opportunity Foundation in Kansas City, KS; Program Director at Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City; Manager of the National Teen Program for Camp Fire USA (Kansas City); and most recently as Director of the Youth Development Center at Don Bosco Centers (Kansas City).  

Paid Full-Time Staff 2
Paid Part-Time Staff 2
Volunteers 30
Paid Contractors 2
Retention Rate 98%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 3
Caucasian 1
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Male 4
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes

URC has formed partnerships with: The Historic Manheim Park, Town Fork Creek and Marlborough neighborhoods (grass cutting, community gardens); The Step Ladder Program, an internship program with the Blue Springs Police Department; Habitat Restoration, a program with Kansas City’s Parks and Recreation Department to clean up green areas of the city; Bee Free Family Farm; Lazarus Ministries; Blue River Watershed Association; Kids in the Kitchen, a weekly cooking class through the University of Missouri Extension; our Overcoming Obstacles initiative where rangers attend sessions throughout the program year on Conflict Resolution (in conjunction with Peace Works and the Center for Conflict Resolution) and Etiquette Training; a new mentoring initiative with the Kansas City Public Schools; DeLaSalle Educational Center; and Omicron XI Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Our rangers have an opportunity during the summer to participate in the Tour of Hope - African-American businessmen who give tours of their businesses to our rangers and talk with them about career possibilities: T-Shirt King, Mid-State Aerospace, State Farm, Proctor and Gamble, Woodley Building Maintenance, Carter Broadcast Group, Donald Maxwell (Attorney), Burtin & Associates

Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Kevin Henderson
Company Affiliation College Basketball Experience
Term July 2015 to Jan 2020
Board Members
Ms. Jacquelyn Blake Great Western Bank
Mr. Casey Culbertson Finkle & Williams Architecture
Mr. Raymond Dake Siro Smith Dickson PC
Ms. Jamie Davis American Multi-Cinema, Inc.
Mr. Derek Gale Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City
Mr. Kevin Henderson College Basketball Experience
Ms. Jennifer L"Heureux Westside Housing Organization
Dr. Tyjaun Lee Metropolitan Community College - Penn Valley
Ms. Tonya Lovelace City of Kansas City, Missouri
Ms. Christina McConnell The Thin Pencil
Ms. Rachel Parrish Lavish Hospitality & EPIC Innovative Events
Mr. Jason Parson Parson & Associate
Ms. Lisa Peacock Burke Counseling and Consulting
Ms. Pamela Potts Mersoft Corporation/ICO Impact Div.
Ms. Crystal Randle GEHA
Mr. Joe Sweeny Country Club Bank
Ms. Joi Tillman Assurant Employee Benefits
Dr. Rebecca Wates University of Kansas Medical Center
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 10
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 11
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 25%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
CEO Comments

Fiscal Year Start Oct 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Sept 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $579,400
Projected Expenses $573,300
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 9/30/2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$48,791$62,719
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$0$0$0
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$46,285$69,243$54,271
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$369,788$345,947$396,944
Administration Expense$101,866$113,458$99,721
Fundraising Expense$33,532$33,842$38,400
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.500.960.92
Program Expense/Total Expenses73%70%74%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%7%8%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,069,138$193,574$186,999
Current Assets$334,209$167,509$153,665
Long-Term Liabilities$142,000$20,000$0
Current Liabilities$14,319$18,549$12,585
Total Net Assets$912,819$155,025$174,414
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities23.349.0312.21
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets13%10%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Hall Family Foundation $26,400
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Impact KC $25,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --United Way $15,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments

URC is a community based entity that promotes and shares ownership of its programs with the entire population of the Greater Kansas City Area. Moving to the “next level” requires that all URC programming be designed to intentionally offset some of the major problems affecting the metropolitan area youth while at the same time working to upgrade the status of the human resource pool. This is an essential ingredient for URC’s future that will ultimately infuse a strong building block into the overall success of the Kansas City metropolitan area. To accomplish this task the following must happen:
  1. Development of a public relations and social media campaign to promote the program and to garner the support of the public.
  2. Securing the funding needed (public and private) to operate the program in a comprehensive and unfailing manner across multiple states.
  3. Create strategic linkages with other entities in the community that are committed to supporting the enrichment of “urban youth” and the long-range development of URC programming.
  4. Devise a partnership with a national program model that is used to create an ancillary process designed to augment learning in URC specified program areas. The intent is to facilitate future growth and success derived from proven curricula and existing products that would enhance the overall impact of the URC organization within the Greater Kansas City area.
  5. Incorporate a mental health program component that would include cognitive behavioral therapy. The rate of depression among today’s boys is shockingly high, and statistics now tell us that boys are up to three times more likely than girls to be a victim of a violent crime (other than sexual assault) and between four to six times more likely to commit suicide.

Organization Name Urban Ranger Corps
Address 5908 Swope Parkway
Kansas City, MO 64130
Primary Phone (816) 333-6455
Contact Email urcinfo@urckc.org
CEO/Executive Director Mr. J. Erik Dickinson
Board Chair Mr. Kevin Henderson
Board Chair Company Affiliation College Basketball Experience
Year of Incorporation 2003