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Paying Internships In Kansas City | Overland Park's Grammy Winner

Carlos Moreno/KCUR 89.3
Once an intern in the office of Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Kay Barnes, current Mayor Quinton Lucas strongly supports the Working For Youth internship initiative.

An internship program looks to create paid positions to introduce at-risk Kansas City youth to career possibilities and meet musician and producer Justus West.

Segment 1, beginning at 1:00: With the goal of placing 500 Kansas City young people as paid interns in area businesses, Working For Youth's Hire KC program has received 900 applications to date.

As a former intern himself, Mayor Quinton Lucas knows the value of the career exploration that internships can provide. Of his time in Mayor Kay Barnes' office, Lucas recalls, "It told me, 'Wait a second, maybe it's the sort of thing that I can do.'" A current intern describes his experience, and the senior director of Hire KC explains how the program works.

Segment 2, beginning at 26:05: At 22 years old, Justus West is a master guitarist, songwriter and producer. Then there's that Grammy.

It's been a breathtaking journey for West. From Overland Park, Kansas, he worked his way through Los Angeles, Atlanta and Nashville before settling in back home. Along the way, he's bumped elbows with Vince Gill, Ariana Grande and Mac Miller. But when his path crossed with John Legend's, it led to co-producing the track "Always" on Legend's "Bigger Love," which won the Grammy for Best R&B album.

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at
Danie Alexander is the senior producer of Up To Date.