Van Go, Inc.

Art is what you see. Jobs are we do.

Lawrence, KS   |  www.van-go.org

Mission

To improve the lives of at-risk youth using art as the vehicle for self-expression, self-confidence, job skills and hope for the future.

Ruling year info

1996

Co-Executive Director of Development and Operations

Eliza Darmon

Co-Executive Director of Program Administration and Human Resources

Kristen Malloy

Main address

PO Box 153

Lawrence, KS 66044 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

48-1171726

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Employment Training (J22)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Using art as the vehicle, Van Go delivers constructive activities to youth at risk for drug and alcohol use, teen pregnancy, truancy or delinquency. Founded in 1997 as an innovative way to help fill existing gaps in social services, Van Go has been a lifeline for hundreds of kids and teens in crisis, providing them with valuable life and job skills as they create art for the community.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Jobs in the Arts Make Sense (JAMS)

Each year, through the JAMS program, at-risk teens are paid minimum wage to create works of art such as murals, benches and smaller items for public purchase. After school and during the summer, they work at the Van Go facility 10 to 22 hours per week.
As the first employer for 83% of these youth, Van Go teaches and evaluates vital 'soft skills' that employers value: promptness, task completion, working with others, taking direction, and being a 'self-starter.' Van Go's social workers also provide valuable social services to ensure the kids are on track to graduate from high school, are mentally and physically healthy, and are accessing community resources.Van Go has a team of caring adults that provides these services at our work-site and also utilizes community volunteers to keep the adult to youth ratio at 1:4. Given this extensive support system, it's possible that on a given day at JAMS, a young person might learn perspective drawing, lead a team of peers to complete a task, and practice phone skills to call for help in the event of domestic abuse or suicidal thoughts.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

The Arts Train (TAT) provides vocational training and job experience in the high-demand fields of carpentry, painting, and digital arts for young adults, ages 18-24. TAT is designed for a population out of high school who have continuing needs for services to insure a successful transition to the ""next step."" The program is centered on a curriculum informed by focus groups of local employers. The Arts Train youth learn through on-site training and off-site employment. 
Attendance, punctuality, time management, goal-setting, teamwork and task completion are charted, measured, evaluated and rewarded. Workplace success skills are practiced in weekly sessions on topics such as fiscal responsibility, transition planning, health and employment issues. As with JAMS, educational goals are identified and encouraged.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

Where we work

Awards

Governor's Award for Outstanding Arts Organization 2008

Kansas Art Commission

Coming Up Taller Award 2006

President's Commission on the Arts

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Van Go has over 100 employment opportunities for qualifying Douglas County teens and young adults each year. Most qualifying youth have never had a job before, making our work essential, as it sets the foundation for what success in a job looks like.

Van Go is devoted to the whole person, intertwining mental health services, academic support, healthy living and life skill lessons into the broader structure of the job-training program.

We are able to accomplish our goals through a Department of Labor grant which supports job-training, community partnerships who refer youth to our services, and a structured, fail safe environment.

For 20+ years we have employed hundreds of local youth and made a deep and lasting impact on many of these. We continue to stay in touch with our grads and track their education/employment.

We look forward to increasing the number of youth served in this in-depth way.

Financials

Van Go, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Van Go, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jennifer Roth

Appellate Defender Office

Term: 2016 - 2021

Billy Pilgrim

Billy Pilgrim LLC (Past President)

Anthea Scouffas

Lied Center

Michel Loomis

Retired USD 497, Central Junior High

Justin Anderson

The Dentists of Lawrence

Stan Ricketts

Intrust Bank

Sandy Praeger

Community Volunteer

Kris Matthews

KU

Jennifer Roth

Lawyer

John Bullock

Lawyer(Secretary)

Myrone Grady

Lawrence Police Dept.

Amy Shumaker

Community Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No