Barbara McGhee is Founding Executive Director of Community Response. She founded the state and federally recognized non profit organization in May 2000, after working as a Children's Division contracted Family Development Specialist. She was moved to action as she watched young adults in foster care prepare to transition from foster care into adulthood. While some had adequate support from foster parents and extended family, many lacked the mental attitude, knowledge, skills and supports needed to successfully transition to life on their own. Ms. McGhee was able to create a program that addressed social, emotional and mental health barriers to self-sufficiency under her newly formed nonprofit. Shortly after conceiving the program idea and submitting a contract proposal to the Department of Social Services, Children's Division, Community Response was awarded its first contract to provide scattered site transitional living services to foster youth, ages 18 through 21. With prayers, dedication and her personal credit guarantee, Ms. McGhee accepted and moved the first two 18 year old participants into apartments in June 2002. Since that time, Community Response has armed over 400 young adults with the knowledge, skills and supports needed to live as productive and responsible citizens.
Ms. McGhee is skilled in program development and management and grant writing and is able to think outside the box in order to create innovative ways of addressing community challenges.
Ms. McGhee holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Central Missouri State University and graduate degrees in Social Work and Public Health from Saint Louis University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, trauma informed Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist.
The purpose of life, is a life of purpose.
Ms. McGhee has always had a passion for helping others. She embraces the saying, “The purpose of life, is a life of purpose”. She has always sought work that allowed her to fulfill her purpose of giving back, as a means of gratitude for God’s many blessings. She was intentional in earning degrees in a Social Work and Public Health because those two educational backgrounds afforded her the opportunity to help empower people to improve their quality of life. She wanted to invest in an education that would allow her to address issues like health disparities among underserved populations and provide innovative options to address mental health challenges.
All of her past employment has been in fields that allowed her to directly impact the lives of others. The fulfillment she receives from her employment is as important as the pay. Being an entrepreneur and providing services that improve the physical and mental health of others is the perfect combination. Being able to earn a living and provide a service that changes lives is a blessing that she does not take for granted.