What We Are About


The History of Oak Ridge Youth Development School

Oak Ridge Youth Development Corporation is a 501c3 of the Oak Ridge Missionary Baptist Church that was established in 2006. The initial summer program, called Lift Them Up, was purposed to provide academic enrichment and fun activities to the program participants.

In 2008, Oak Ridge joined the Kansas City Freedom School Initiative of Kansas City, Missouri. Freedom Schools were founded by Marian Edelman Wright of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) of Washington, DC. Oak Ridge Freedom School became a national Freedom School model in 2009 because of its effective program implementation, leadership, administration, intergenerational leadership development of its Servant Leaders and its health and nutrition component.

In the summer of 2013, Oak Ridge made the decision to be an independent Freedom School site so they could work directly with the CDF. Since Oak Ridge has been providing a summer enrichment program for seven consecutive years, it has broadened its program offerings to include Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and an integrated health component.

Because the Oak Ridge Youth Development Corporation wanted to continue to expand on its program offerings, they decided to no longer be apart of the CDF model and they established their own entity named the Oak Ridge Youth Development School as a 501c3 in 2013.


Dr. Ricky D. Turner
Senior Pastor
Oak Ridge Missionary Baptist Church


Julie Hickman
Diversity Compliance & Testing Group, Inc.


Mr. Mathew Brandmeyer
Mathew and Jessica Brandmeyer Foundation


Mr. Matthew Browning
Sales Manager
Academy Bank, N.A. Kansas City, KS


Dr. Doris Givens
Kansas City Kansas Community College


Dr. Rodney Smith
Assoc., Director
UMKC Center for Academic Development