About

Joe Gallant

Outreach Coordinator
Joe Gallant serves as the Outreach Coordinator for Kids Win Missouri. Since relocating to Kansas City from Boston, MA in 2013, Joe has gained extensive experience working as a direct care provider for Missouri’s youth and families. He began this work with the Division of Youth Services, serving as a Youth Specialist at a secure care facility. Upon leaving his role with DYS, Joe joined Rose Brooks Center as a Prevention Specialist, working directly with multiple school districts in the Kansas City area, implementing a curriculum to help children develop healthy relationships, coping skills, and social support. Through his work with Rose Brooks, Joe became an active community partner, creating and maintaining strong relationships with other care providers, schools, and community leaders, and was a key player in seeing the Jackson County Children’s Services Fund ballot initiative passed in 2016. Joe continued this work until joining the KWM team in 2021. Interested in contacting Joe? Please email him at jgallant@kidswinmissouri.org.

Casey Hanson

Director of Outreach and Engagement

Casey Hanson is the Director of Outreach and Engagement at Kids Win Missouri. Prior to her current role, Casey Hanson was the Policy and Communications Coordinator for the Missouri AfterSchool Network (MASN), housed at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Master’s in Public Affairs. Before joining MASN in 2014, she coordinated a statewide project aimed at expanding the state’s longitudinal data system to include more early childhood and afterschool related data. Casey’s passion for afterschool and early childhood education has been fueled by her direct experiences as a program volunteer, staff person, and participant. She also has experience working directly for legislators and as a community organizer for candidates and issue-based campaigns. Casey resides in St. Louis with her husband and two sons, Cormac, a preschooler, and Rory, an infant. Interested in contacting Casey? Email her at chanson@kidswinmissouri.org.

Brandice McDowell

Advocacy Coordinator
Brandice McDowell serves as the Advocacy Coordinator for Kids Win Missouri. Her experience as a social worker in education has shaped her journey in advocating for families in an impactful way. With experience stemming from K-12, Brandice served at the Board of Administration of Saint Louis Public Schools, connecting and maintaining community partnerships with over 70 schools. Her service later shifted to serving families through direct practice. She has clinically advised, counseled and outsourced resources for hundreds of students and families at a variety of charter schools in the city of St. Louis. Brandice earned her BA at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Masters in Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. She resides in the St. Louis region with her husband, where they serve their community as ministers with their two precious daughters, Aria and Mila. Brandice is also a small business owner who has years of experience teaching classes and trainings centered around mental & emotional wellness through creative arts. As a passionate advocate for healthy communities, she will be collaborating with parents, providers, community partners and other key stakeholders to advance Kid Win Missouri’s Early Childcare Education Initiative. Interested in contacting Brandice? Please email her at bmcdowell@kidswinmissouri.org
 

Robyn Schelp

Director of Policy and Advocacy

Robyn serves as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for Kids Win Missouri. A teacher by trade, Robyn taught in North Carolina, served as a missionary in Guatemala, and then taught in rural Missouri before staying home to care for her three boys. In 2012, she and her husband Allen moved with their family to Columbia so they could access services and support for their young son with disabilities. In 2016, Robyn started a grassroots advocacy effort to improve laws for children with disabilities. Two years later she co-founded Missouri Disability Empowerment (MoDE) where she served as MoDE’s legislative director. Robyn is active in her church and supports local families through the IEP process.  Interested in contacting Robyn? Please email her at rschelp@kidswinmissouri.org.

Brian Schmidt

Executive Director

Brian is responsible for executing Kids Win Missouri’s strategic plan and overseeing the organization’s development. He started his career in public policy as the Executive Director of the Missouri General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Tax Policy where he assisted legislators in analyzing and crafting tax and economic development policies. After his work with the Missouri legislature, Brian started Missouri Wonk, a public policy analysis consulting firm whose work tackled diverse projects with subjects including tax policy and incentives, healthcare, education, transportation, housing, crime and neighborhood revitalization. Interested in contacting Brian? Please email him at bschmidt@kidswinmissouri.org.

Abigail Walden

Project Coordinator

Abigail is the Project Coordinator at Kids Win Missouri. Since moving to the area in 2014 to attend University of Missouri- Kansas City for undergrad, she has continued to call Kansas City home. In May 2022 she earned a Master’s in Public Administration from UMKC. Abigail was most recently the grant writer for Phoenix Family, with much of her grant writing focused on their after-school literacy program. Before that, she worked at the local Girl Scout council as a Team Lead for their outreach program, then Customer Care Specialist, and then Troop Experience Manager supporting new troop leaders. She also worked as a Program Specialist at Wonderscope Children’s Museum. When she’s not working, Abigail is an orchestra and board member of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. Please email her at awalden@kidswinmissouri.org.