February Partner Spotlight: Unleashing Potential Works to Close the Opportunity Gap of Children in STL

Unleashing Potential is working to unleash the potential of St. Louis children and families that leads to a just community for all. With over 107 years of experience, this organization has evolved to meet the needs of children and families in their community. The organization recently caught the eye of Governor Parson, who toured their facility over the summer and invited Darlene Sowell, CEO, and Denise Carter, Early Childhood Program Director, to attend his 2021 State of the State Address. Kids Win Missouri has been working together with Unleashing Potential to pass critical policies related to early childhood, after school and summer learning. Read our Q&A with Unleashing Potential CEO Darlene Sowell as they are featured as Kids Win Missouri’s February Partner Spotlight.


How does your organization work to improve child well-being in your community or in the state of MO?

Unleashing Potential’s mission is to close the opportunity gap of children in the St. Louis region by building on their strengths. Our work is focused on early childhood education, after school and summer enrichment programs.


What policy change would you most like to see to support child well-being in our state?

UP would like to encourage the state to permanently increase the income eligibility for parents who receive child care subsidies for quality child care.


Why do you think it’s important for our state to invest in children?

An intentional and substantial investment in ALL children will elevate the entire region. Child well-being is the foundation for economic and societal success regardless of economic circumstance or race. If children grow up in a safe, healthy and learning environment their desires for success and future become unlimited. The long term results are a reduction in crime and an increase in economic and intellectual prosperity for the community.


What do you like most about being a member of Kids Win Missouri?

Kids Win Missouri keeps Unleashing Potential informed about statewide initiatives and policies impacting the children we serve. It also provides a collaborative voice for child care providers in the state of Missouri.


You can learn more about Unleashing Potential by visiting their website at, or by finding them on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.

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