Today we’d like to introduce you to Aubrey McGrew.
Hi Aubrey, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
Growing up, I always knew that my purpose was to help people, but it was disorganized, not knowing exactly how I was supposed to help. I have lived in different parts of the Kansas City Area my whole life, it only seemed perfect to start helping in Kansas City.
I am a book worm, wanting to soak up as much knowledge as I can, learning and developing myself and sharing it with those around me. In high school, I participated in Northland CAPS, a Center for Advanced Professional Studies, my junior year in the Medicine and Healthcare strand, my senior year in the Senior Associates strand, having the opportunity to have two internships; my junior year at North Kansas City Hospital in their Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, and my senior year at North Kansas City Hospital working with the hospital psychiatrist and psychiatric social worker.
As I started evolving into my higher self, I started stepping into my true purpose and following my true path. Safe Space’s plan was placed on my heart less than two years ago, since then we have made significant progress developing Safe Space, including working with high school students from Northland CAPS, Engineering and Manufacturing strand, where they created a blueprint, layout, and specific room detail items for our soon to come Safe Space building.
I started Safe Space with many goals; one goal to be a nonprofit organization, funded by generous investors and grants, so our families don’t have to pay to get the necessary help our youth needs, one goal to help the Kansas City area youth gain mental health resources and school resources, teaching our youth how to process and regulate their emotions, one goal to have Safe Space be a designated drop off/pick up zone with free mediation services for our divorced family parenting plans, and one goal to have a vegetation greenhouse where Safe Space will partner with RaZenBa, a local vegan catering company, to teach our youth to cook fresh, healthy meals, tend to the greenhouse, watering them from the rainwater collectors, and be able to take the produce/meal home to feed their siblings healthy, Safe Space grown foods.
I am so excited to see this passion project continue to unfold and be able to help as many families and youth as possible.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My path has by no means been smooth sailing, I believe everyone’s path has obstacles to overcome to help you get to where you are meant to be. Obstacles are a part of life and how we deal with them and learn from them determines how far we are going to get on the journey. You can choose to be stuck at the obstacle, complacent and frustrated that you are not getting where you want, or you can be proactive, productive, and work through the obstacle, overcoming and accomplishing the things you need to further your path.
I overcame the obstacle of believing in my own voice, valuing others’ opinions, but not valuing them higher than my own. I overcame the obstacle of trusting myself, turning down the volume of others’ voices, and increasing the volume of my own inner voice. I overcame the obstacle of letting go of others’ opinions of me, choosing to follow what I know to be true, following my path and purpose. All of the obstacles in my path have taught me something valuable to help me along my journey, the knowledge I would not have otherwise had without the obstacle.
I am the product of a divorced family, our drop off/pick up spot being the Quik Trip off of Front Street, my parents often unable to have smooth switches, however without overcoming this obstacle, I would not have now had one goal dedicated to creating Safe Space to be a designated switch spot, creating a space for crucial parent conversations to be had, without our youth present, remembering every word said. Obstacles teach us crucial information needed to further our path and purpose.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am the founder and CEO of Safe Space, specializing in free mental health resources for the Kansas City area youth. I am most proud of how far this organization has come in such a short amount of time.
We are finalizing our first Board of Directors, so we can qualify as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, we have worked with Northland CAPS, having high school students build an online replica of what Safe Space’s final product will look like, I am very proud and thankful we had the opportunity to do this interview so that Safe Space can be shared with others.
The fact that all of our services are free, from therapy to mediation to cooking classes to classroom tutoring, sets us apart from other organizations in the area. There are no criteria to meet to come to Safe Space, only that you are our youth or their parents/guardians, and there are no boxes that have to be checked for our youth to get the help they deserve.
LaVonna Palmer, Sarah Luke (Safe Space designs)