2023 Winners

Kyle Hollins

2023 Winner

Kyle Hollins is the Founder and Executive Director of Lyrik’s Institution, a nonprofit founded in 2019 that empowers young adults through culturally competent behavior modification and cognitive-based programs that spotlight their passions in the creative arts. He works directly with at-risk young adults in the Kansas City community. He has an affinity for identifying and guiding young adults to their passion/career that oftentimes are connected to some form of the creative arts. This methodology empowers real-world learning through internships that create a pathway to the workforce. Kyle is committed to addressing the root causes of challenges faced by young adults that lead to destructive paths, such as drug use, violence, gang involvement, incarceration, and death. 

Kyle doesn’t only teach the behavior modification approach, but he is a product of it. When his daughter, his first child, was 3 years old, Kyle was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison. During his sentence, he took part in multiple cognitive behavior modification programs. Upon his release, he was determined to share the science-based methods he learned with others in his community so they could avoid a similar fate. Derived from his daughter’s name, Lyrik’s Institution creates an environment where young adults can thrive and provides the social and emotional skills needed to navigate life and foster success. 

Kyle has some college experience in marketing and accounting from Arizona Western College and psychology from Metropolitan Community College, as well as credited hours to a certificate of divinity and theology/theological studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

Kyle’s Podcast

Josh Henges

2023 Winner

Josh Henges has devoted his life’s work to ending homelessness—and the stigma surrounding it—in Kansas City. From the time he was a child, he has been obsessed with helping those without a home. As he entered his professional life, he committed his career to addressing the root causes of chronic homelessness: severe and persistent mental illness and substance use disorders. 

Henges serves as Kansas City, Missouri’s first-ever “czar” responsible for preventing homelessness. In this role, he creates and implements innovative community-wide strategies to assist the houseless and those at-risk of becoming houseless and creates strategies to reduce homelessness and generational poverty. He collaborates with public and private organizations along with various committees and taskforces on strategic long- and short-term goals, including large system and infrastructure projects, and policies that aim to ensure services to the houseless and housing insecure. 

He started by working with homeless youth at KidsTLC, then went to Artists Helping the Homeless and served briefly at Reconciliation Services before starting with Veterans Community Project (VCP). While at VCP he helped manage a village of 49 tiny homes and helped secure permanent housing for more than 100 veterans.  

Josh has shown a commitment to this work and will continue working toward the goal of reaching a functional end of homelessness in Kansas City. 

Josh’s Podcast