Pando volunteer reading to Pando Kids

2023- A Year In Review







Funds awarded to Pando from the Beach Family Foundation are used to improve spaces in 5 Pando schools, creating a more welcoming, comfortable, and accessible space for students.

Read more about the grant here

“Thank you to the Beach Family Foundation for investing in Pando! When students have access to clean clothes, hygiene items and food, they are better prepared to learn. By making better use of the space with storage cabinets, shelving, organizational supplies, and clothing racks, students can get items in a dignified way rather than rummaging through boxes” – Angela Kessler, Director of Development

Pando and In The Bag Cleaners (ITB) partner up to help provide formal wear to students in the area. A large donation of items from ITB helped students during Prom season.

Read the press release here

“It’s always great to see Pando’s Board of Directors in the schools spending time with and helping Pando students thrive! They go above and beyond to see firsthand the impact our program has on over 25,000 students each year.” – Penny Olsen, Executive Director



With the help of Captain Coder’s Marisa VanSkiver, a new initiative called the “Code Crushers” will travel to Pando middle and high schools to educate students about computer code.

Read more about the new initiative here

One of the things we stress in the debriefing process in Reality U is the attitude of gratitude. A parent emailed me after an event and said her student came home after Reality U™ and said “Thanks for all you do for me, mom. I’m going to help out more around the house because now I know how hard it is to work and take care of the stuff at home.”

– Jacob Bentley, Reality U Manager



44 Pando students were recognized at Pando’s Annual STAR Awards! Students were recognized for incredible improvement in academics, attendance, or personal growth. The awards luncheon was held at Crown Uptown Theatre, with special guest host JJ Hayes.

“While standing in line to checkout at Dillons I was approached by a familiar face! She asked if I recognized her and I said of course! This was a young lady I worked with while at Derby High years ago. We spoke for a bit and she updated me on how she is doing and that she is now 25 and in nursing school. I absolutely love when I am approached by former students because it reinforces that the work we do has such an impact. Sometimes the smallest and most brief interactions can leave a lasting impression.” – Kenya McConico, Program Director

Maize USD 266 and Love Like Remi have partnered to bring Pando to 5 Maize elementary schools.

Read more about the program here

“The highlight for me this Fall semester has been being able to expand to Maize, being in a new community and sharing the Pando mission while serving over 100 new Maize students this fall.

Going into all the schools that Pando serves and seeing in person how Pando’s Student Support Advocates make a difference in so many lives as they support students and families to thrive is so rewarding!” – Karen Blucher, Senior Programs & Operation Director


A generous grant from Cargill helps Pando provide healthy snacks to students at 22 Pando Schools. The healthy snack pantries serve over 2,600 students each month.

Read more about it here


Volunteers from Credit Union of America, who began their Pando Literacy Initiative in December 2022 at Oaklawn Elementary, expand the program to Cooper Elementary. Currently there are over 20 volunteers who visit the two schools monthly to read to students.

“I had an awesome experience in Oakley, KS where the 12th graders served as volunteers for Reality U. These were students that had been through the simulation in the 8th and 10th grade, so when I walked in the school to set up, they knew my name and were eager to help get the booths ready. At the end of the session I asked them to pass along some advice to the younger students. They emphasized the importance of keeping their grades up and gave some tips on how to maximize their high school experience. I was so happy to see them speak words of wisdom to their classmates. It was an incredible day.” – Patrick Sehl Jr., Reality U Director


Cooking for a Cause, Pando’s signature fundraising event, brings together talented volunteer Chefs, community supporters, and volunteers for an evening of delicious tastings.

Read more about the event here

Help Our Children Succeed

Gifts to Pando support the 1,800 students on our caseload and the 25,000 students we serve annually through our PandoKids™ and RealityU™ programs.