Kids Unlimited Offers Access to Quality After-School Programs

Jan 20, 2014

 After working with disadvantaged youth as part of his studies at Missouri State University, Tom Cole worked for Boys & Girls Clubs in Missouri before moving to Medford, Ore. He opened the city’s first Boys & Girls Club in a Quonset hut.

 In 1998 Cole left the Boys & Girls Club and started Kids Unlimited as a grassroots movement based on his knowledge that students at high-poverty schools had little access to quality after-school programs.   Starting with $500, volunteers and his own commitment, Cole enrolled 17 first-graders in the program.  Unlike their parents who never graduated from high school, all of the participants graduated and 14 went on to college, some of them returning as Kids Unlimited counselors. Focusing on economically distressed neighborhoods, Kids Unlimited programs provide after-school and summer activities, teen entrepreneur and leadership training, college preparatory help, mentoring and individual counseling.  The program teaches subjects ranging from the culinary arts and robotics to film and sports. The Kids Unlimited’s VIBES program, which stands for Vitality in Becoming Educated Socially, is the largest after-school program in the Rogue Valley. 

Sources: Kids Unlimited. Web. 14 Dec. 2013. "Unlimited Potential." Mail Tribune 14 Apr. 2013 [Medford, Ore.] . Web. 14 Dec. 2013.