MINDDRIVE's Paula Guinn & Steve Rees

CONGRATULATIONS!

To MINDDRIVE‘s Paula Guinn and Steve Rees, the inaugural recipients of the American Public Square Civil Citizen award!

One of the tenets of American Public Square is to bring together non-like-minded people for civil conversation. We want to recognize those in our community who share this goal, who create a space in which people with varying points of view can work together to benefit Kansas City.

Paula is Executive Director, and Steve is Co-founder of MINDDRIVE, an impactful organization that inspires high school students by providing project-based learning and mentoring. They teach problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration through math, science, technology, innovation, and communication. They also seek out students who are in need of educational intervention and who may lack adequate support for their growth and development.

Also they build cars. Real, functioning, cool, electric cars.

Check out the the photos we took during our visit to MINDDRIVE, and read our interviews with Paula and Steve, who were gracious enough to give us a tour of their facility and show us the outstanding work their students have done.

Most importantly, go to MINDDRIVE’s website to learn more about their organization, and join us in congratulating our first Civil Citizen Award recipients! Thanks, Paula and Steve, for the work you do at MINDDRIVE!

3 QUESTIONS

for these Civil Citizens

PAULA GUINN

PAULA GUINN

Executive Director, MINDDRIVE

What do you do?
Executive Director at MINDDRIVE

Why do you do it?
I love to see young people connect with adults in our community to experience and learn things entirely new to them. Students often arrive a little uncertain, but at the end of a project students reflect on what they accomplished and feel real ownership of this amazing thing they created.

What do you hope your work accomplishes?
By providing real-world experiences and access to cutting edge technology, we are able to level the playing field for many of Kansas City’s youth. I hope we help students get excited about learning and their future and ultimately help them along a path to become an engaged citizen.

STEVE REES

STEVE REES

Co-founder, MINDDRIVE

What do you do?
MINDDRIVE was originally a class at DeLaSalle Education Center, a high school primarily for students ejected from the Kansas City public school system. The students, though often disengaged from education, all have a grit from their often difficult life circumstances that were primarily not their making. A class was formed to stimulate them to create. How do you get them to flick the switch to turn their grit in a positive direction?

Why do you do it?
The class evolved into the not for profit, MINDDRIVE, that pairs the students with mentors. The kids flick the switch, and the result is outstanding with long term commitments, good grades, and a 100% graduation rate.

What do you hope your work accomplishes?
The results are self sustaining contributors to the community.

When we visited MINDDRIVE’s workshop, Paula, Steve, and Matt Ziegenhorn (Marketing & Events Director at MINDDRIVE) showed us this video, created by a former MINDDRIVE student. It not only highlights the work MINDDRIVE is doing in our community and the impact it has on student participants, but it also showcases the talent MINDDRIVE draws and cultivates.