The vision for The Urban Scholastic Center was revealed by God to Chuck Allen in 2000. Chuck began to implement ministry programs on middle- and high-school campuses in 2001. His desire to disciple students, inspire them to pursue higher education and become socially responsible Christian leaders led him to leave his Associate Pastor position at a local church in 2004 and devote his full time to the ministries of The Urban Scholastic Center. The USC became a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit corporation in June of 2005.
Read Chuck’s full story and how the Urban Scholastic Center began
Never Say Never
Chuck Allen, Founder and Executive Director of The Urban Scholastic Center, never thought he would serve in ministry, and he said he would never return to his hometown, Wyandotte County, Kansas (Kansas City) to live, but God had other plans…
Whenever someone mentioned college, the first thing that entered Chuck’s mind was money. He never truly believed that he could go to college, that is until he received a scholarship to run track for Kansas State University. In 1987 Chuck arrived at K-State. He met new people, visited uncommon places, and enjoyed the many new freedoms.
Chuck’s college experience was focused on track, friends and school, in that order. During his first year as a student-athlete, chuck severely pulled his left hamstring while competing in a track meet at UCLA. In his second year, he severely pulled his right hamstring while competing at Kansas Relays. During his third year as a student-athlete, he fractured the cartilages in his right knee and developed a popliteal cyst behind that same knee. Chuck had suffered through several devastating injuries which led to a deep depression. He thought of ways to end his life, but his mother, a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, prayed for, encouraged and continually sent Chuck Christ-centered materials through the mail.
Chuck began to read the Bible and attend different churches, he also visited various Christian groups on campus.
One day his mother sent him a tract in the mail – it was about following Jesus. Throughout his life he had seen and even read these pamphlets but on that day, as he read the words on the pages, the Lord removed the scales from his heart and Chuck fell into the arms of his Savior – He committed his life to Jess Christ.
Chuck left the K-State track & field team and focused on his education.
As he worked toward completing his degree in Graphic Design he felt a summer internship would increase his chances of landing a good job upon graduation, but he couldn’t find an internship. Chuck would have to move back home and find a job for the summer – His step-father landed him a job in the Wyandotte County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC).
God had Chuck right where he wanted him; working with students. Chuck was so moved by his experience working in the JDC that felt he should continue to encourage, equip and pour into the lives of youth, but he disqualified himself because he didn’t have a degree in education or social work. He returned to K-State and completed his degree in Graphic Design.
Upon graduation, he couldn’t find a job. Out of desperation to earn money, he worked for a construction company, digging ditches and laying pipe. That summer he was invited to a Promise Keepers event in Boulder Colorado…
At the conference the Lord brought to his mind the boys at the Juvenile Detention Center and reminded him of his desire to work with children and youth. On the way back home, he told the man sitting next to him “I’m going to return to K-State, earn a degree in education and work with kids”. Chuck earned a degree in Education and although he had a great desire to work with students he was resolute on not returning to Wyandotte County to live, so he accepted a job in the Blue Valley school district in Johnson County, Kansas, an affluent suburban area.
Chuck thoroughly enjoyed his new teaching position and couldn’t wait to inform his former teachers at his old elementary school that he had become an educator. Chuck thought it would be a shock to some of his former teachers because he was not always a model student; from time to time he would throw great tantrums and often run away from school.
Chuck returned to Vance Elementary School; he entered the old wooden doors and walked through the small dimly lit hallway. He took a peek in the old library and thought to himself, “my classroom in Blue Valley is twice the size of this library”. As he ventured down the hall and up the row of stairs he noticed art supplies on a small cart – there was no art room, the teacher went from class to class to teach art. He also noticed a set of books on a cart that were shared among the teachers. He looked inside one of the classrooms and saw old Apple computers on some of the desks. In a state of bewilderment, he stopped and said to himself, “This is what it means to have an uneven playing field.” The shock of this revelation was so disturbing and there were so many things churning through his mind that all he can remember after that point was being in his car driving back home.
Two years after he started teaching, his wife, Tricia, became pregnant with their fourth child and the thought of raising a family of six on a teacher’s salary lead Chuck to leave his teaching position and search for a higher-paying job.
After many weeks of searching for a job, Chuck received a call from a friend that he worked with at K-State, asking to meet with him to discuss a job opportunity. During this meeting, Chuck learned that his friend was going to start a new organization that focused on children and youth, he was very excited about this opportunity until his friend mentioned that he was starting this organization in Wyandotte County, KS.
As Chuck continued to listen, he thought about the “uneven playing field”. He also remembered the students he had built relationships with while serving at the Wyandotte County Juvenile Detention Center and his heart began to soften. He knew the Lord was calling him to return home to encourage, equip and pour into the lives of urban youth so he decided to go to the Lord in prayer. After much prayer and a miraculous confirmation from God through one of his children, Chuck could not ignore the call on his life to return to his hometown to minister and serve.
After vowing never to return to Wyandotte County to live, Chuck moved to the inner-city in 2000 with his wife Tricia and their four children to live among and serve the people in his community.
Chuck worked with several great ministries when he first returned to Wyandotte County. It was during this time that the Lord revealed to him the vision for the The Urban Scholastic Center. USC was founded in 2004 and became an 501(C)(3) Non-Profit Corporation in June 2005. The USC mission is to develop socially responsible Christian leaders.