Welcome to our Blog

Stories of our students and news about our progress

Welcome to our Blog

Stories of our students and news about our progress

FINDING HER PLACE: KARA JOHNSON

Life wasn’t going well for Kara Johnson. She didn’t know – never had known — her mom. Her father suffered mental health and addiction issues and wasn’t the best role model. Nor was his ex-wife, who gave Kara a home for a while, but never let her forget she was...

TYESHA OLDEN: IT’S ALL UP FROM HERE

For Tyesha Olden, the struggle was constant. To be sure, she was trying hard to get her life on track. She had dropped out of high school when asthma caused her to miss too many days to catch up, but she’d signed up for Job Corps and earned her GED. She was working,...

HELPING HANDS: TERI AALDERS

You might say dog grooming is in Teri Aalders’ blood The owner of Empire Pets grooming salons in Mission and Lenexa, Kan., she’s been a groomer for years. Her mother groomed dogs for more than 40 years. Her three sisters are groomers, one in Independence, another in...

NATASHA’S LESSONS LEARNED

Our students aren’t the only ones who do a lot of learning and growing at The Grooming Project. The students learn grooming, customer service and a whole lot of life skills; Natasha Kirsch, the project’s founder, has learned a few things too. 8-25-16 update: check out...

WHY DOG GROOMING? NUMBERS TELL THE STORY

It’s a question we get all the time. Of all the skilled trades for which to launch job-training, why did we pick dog grooming? The answer is easy: because good-paying, family-friendly jobs are waiting! And it’s a trade that’s accepting of those for whom low...

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

They are women at work, and your support made it possible! Graduates of The Grooming Project’s inaugural class in spring 2016 have jobs – good paying ones! – at grooming salons across the city. If you want to see the results of your involvement with The Grooming...

SHAY TURNER: TAKING CHARGE

Got a question? Shikina Turner probably knows the answer, and if not, she knows how to find it. “She is very smart and knows everything,” says Natasha Kirsch, The Grooming Project founder, of the outspoken mother of four known to friends and family as Shay. “She’s a...

CHRISTINE BANKS: STRONG, AND SILENT NO MORE

Christine Banks’ one-year-old son is taking his first steps. Her five-year-old daughter is about to lose her first tooth. And Christine is learning to speak up for herself, her kids and her dreams for their collective future. Those dreams — of a job she enjoys...

FACING FORWARD: JESSICA SMITH

Jessica Smith is petite – smaller than some of the dogs she grooms. But don’t mistake her tiny stature for any lack of determination. Because this soon-to-be professional dog groomer is fierce, and as goal-oriented as it gets in her will to succeed. “Let me put it...

READY TO SHINE: DANIELLE SIMPSON

Maybe it’s because she has always loved dogs. Maybe it’s because having “been through the storm,” as she describes it, she can empathize with dogs whose roads have been rocky, too. Or maybe it’s because at The Grooming Project, she has truly found her calling and hope...