Photo by Robin Blakely Dr. Elaine Metcalf and Mayor Baird looking over plans for the new Pro Deo Youth Center at Wesley’s Place building

October 28, 2023

By Robin Blakely

Pro Deo Youth Center, a beacon of hope, safety, and fun for teenagers, is extending a heartfelt invitation to parents, teens, business leaders, and every member of the community to attend a pivotal event that is set to bring about transformative change in the lives of local youth.

On Thursday, November 2nd, 2023, at 5 PM, Pro Deo Youth Center will offer an exclusive sneak peek at their early plans for The Wesley Place.

The Wesley Place, a visionary project by Pro Deo Youth Center, aims to become a haven for personal growth, learning, and community. It will function as a hub for creativity, mentorship, and empowerment, ensuring that local youth have the resources and support they need to thrive.

Dr. Elaine Metcalf, Executive Director of Pro Deo Youth Center, said: “This special community event on November 2nd is more than just a gathering—It’s an assurance, an invitation, and a chance for everyone in our region to participate in something extraordinary. Young people are crucial to our community’s success and when we give them the skills and opportunities to build a better future, the entire community benefits. Pro Deo’s current location is at capacity and too small to serve the demands of the area. The new teen center will provide additional space and access to therapy, afterschool activities, summer programming and other resources. Pro Deo will share what our dream about building The Wesley Place is, and how people can help make this dream a reality for our teens.”

Pro Deo serves students in grades 8 through 12 in eastern Jackson County who are suffering from homelessness, hunger, depression, traumatic life events and suicidal thoughts. In June 2023, the City of Lee’s Summit announced the award of a $685,000 Community Revitalization grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development to assist Pro Deo Youth Center in the development of a new teen center to expand behavioral health counseling services. In addition to the Community Revitalization grant, Pro Deo announced the matching donation of $685,000 from Lee’s Summit residents Bob and Jane Rutherford. This initial funding of $1.37 million kicked off plans for land acquisition and construction of the new teen center, becoming part of a larger campaign to facilitate future growth in physical space and programming for Pro Deo.

Bill Baird, Mayor of the City of Lee’s Summit, said, “Pro Deo is a great example of how to bring about impactful change by providing the right resources at the right time. Navigating the transition from childhood to adulthood is an extremely difficult period and fortunately, we have an organization that offers teens the valuable tools and support they need, including mental wellness. I am thrilled about the opportunities this new space will provide Pro Deo, our youth, and the community.”


Thursday, November 2nd, 2023, at 5 PM

Bridge Space, located at 210 SW Market St

The November 2nd event presents a unique opportunity to be part of a movement that will positively influence the futures of countless young lives.

Your presence is not only a demonstration of support but a commitment to helping build a brighter future for our community.

About Pro Deo Youth Center:
Pro Deo Youth Center is a non-profit organization passionately committed to empowering and inspiring the youth of the Eastern Jackson County community. Through education, mentorship, and community support, Pro Deo provides a safe haven for young individuals to grow, dream, and realize their full potential. Founded in 2009, Pro Deo’s mission is to help build relationships, provide a comfortable and safe environment and give guidance and hope to isolated and at-risk teenagers. Pro Deo has key relationships with school district counselors, education therapists, social workers, licensed professionals, ReDiscover Behavioral Health and many partner nonprofits for counseling, tutoring services, and health needs for teens in the community.