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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Each week we focus on a different nonprofit making a real difference in our community. This week, FOX4’s Kathy Quinn was out at The Grooming Project to highlight how they’re helping struggling parents find a new career path to give their families a more secure future.

This state-certified grooming school gives single parents the training to become pet groomers and salon managers. They have real clients and they get paid. After they graduate from the program, they have new skills and a career path that can support them and their families.

Its founder, Natasha Kirsch, started the project five years ago, and since then about 65 people have graduated from the two-year program. Right now they have 10 students taking the class, and 13 more are starting next week.

Amy Hall graduated from the program and is now teaching a new group of students. She said a lot of their trainees were struggling with a domestic violence situation or drug abuse, and stuck in a low-income jobs struggling to take care of their kids.

“So we teach them a job trade, which changes their lives,” Hall said.

“For six months, we help them get stabilized, find housing, childcare, transportation, food.” Kirsch said. “Then they go through the program, learn a trade, and then it’s the journey to thrive. So, they can pick out their houses and their cars and figure out where their kids are going to go to school.”

The Grooming Project is part of Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC), a 501c3 dedicated to reducing generational poverty in Kansas City. If you would like to donate text THRIVE2020 to 50155.