A couple of years ago, four high schoolers hopped in a van and drove around their Argentine neighborhood, giving it a hard look.
They had just joined Youthfront’s new Imagine Argentine which wants youth to recognize that they can be “changemakers” in their community, while also teaching them some entrepreneurial skills.
“We saw homeless people, stray cats, abandoned buildings,” said Zaira Gomez, 18, and a senior at Sumner Academy of Arts & Science. “How can we change it?”
One way was to fill a long, empty storefront with a new community offering – a safe after-school hangout for youth.
Snack Shack KC recently opened at 3112 Strong Ave., by the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library. It will have a grand opening on Nov. 10.
Snack Shack KC is a youth-run business selling cheap snacks (pop, nachos, popcorn and candy) to other teenagers and to the public. While it has limited seating for the public at the entrance, the game room is only for youth, their parents or guardians, and adult volunteers.
“We wanted to benefit students in the community. Just to make it better,” Gomez said.