Our Mission is to prepare at-risk inner city youth for responsible and productive futures through a program of disciplined work experience and service in their community, leadership development and individualized planning for post-High School careers.

We guide our rangers by helping them:

  • Develop positive workplace attitudes
  • Graduate from high school
  • Begin their chosen career pathway by becoming productive citizens

Spend time with the youth of Kansas City’s urban core and you will discover the same potential for future leaders, savvy entrepreneurs, and brilliant thinkers as you would anywhere across Metro Kansas City. You will also discover a hopelessness linked to excessive high school dropout rates, crushing poverty and devastating violence. This hopelessness robs youth especially young men, of many opportunities. The Urban Ranger Corps aims to stem out this hopelessness.

Find out more with our Informational Flyer


The Urban Ranger Corps was founded in July 2003 by the Rev. John Wandless. Operations began in the summer of 2005 with the launching of the “Urban Ranger Program,” a summer program with a Troop of 12 rangers. Priority for participation in the program was (and is) given to males attending high schools located within Kansas City, Missouri, and living in high-risk inner-city neighborhoods.

By the summer of 2008 the program was expanded into a year-round program, in 2011 the program added a summer internship project, and by 2014 we enrolled 72 Senior Rangers and 70 Junior Rangers. The Junior Ranger Program (rangers who are entering 7th and 8th grade) encourages rangers to make positive life decisions and to achieve passing grades in school, with the hope that they will become Senior Rangers when they enter their freshman year in high school.

Since its beginning, the Urban Ranger Corps has worked with more than 649 young men, many of whom have gone on to college, joined the military or entered into the workforce.

The Urban Ranger Corps (URC) is an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3), as of March, 2005, and classified as a “public charity” under section 509(a)(3), as of June, 2009, of the Internal Revenue Code.


What is an Urban Ranger? An Urban Ranger is a high school male that participates in our program.

How to become an Urban Ranger? You must fill out an application and go through an interview process. During the school year rangers are required to maintain a 2.5 grade point average and must perform 20 hours of community service.

What do the Urban Rangers do? Our rangers participate in an eight-week summer program that includes paid work experience, community service, leadership development workshops, a yearly float trip, and so much more.

Volunteer Work: Each senior ranger is committed to performing 20 hours of community service during the school year.  Our junior rangers are committee to 10 hours each school year.  We are always looks for opportunities for our young men.  We have worked at the Kansas City Zoo, Harvester’s, St. Therese Little Flower Parish, and other locations. If you have a community service opportunity, please contact us.
Resume Building Workshop: One of the many missions of the Urban Ranger Corps is preparing rangers for the job market. During this school year we have worked with rangers to prepare their first resumes and complete sample job applications.