History of Youth Horizons
Committed to youth for decades.
Our vision has always been to provide young people a good path. It takes community. It takes collaboration. It takes commitment.
Our early days begin as The Dandelion, a Christian coffee house for young people on Douglas Avenue in Wichita. The young ministry includes an outreach to people experiencing homelessness as well as a venue to host Christian concerts, movies, and fellowship.
The Dandelion becomes Youth Horizons and focuses on mentoring children and youth in the community.
Boys’ Group Home
Earnest and Jeff recognize Wichita’s need for a boys’ group home. In April, the Martin House opens to full-time residential care and becomes one of Youth Horizons’ flagship programs.
Youth Horizons becomes a founding member of the Christian Association of Youth Mentoring (CAYM), an organization dedicated to developing Christian mentoring programs and training Christian mentors to positively impact kids.
Through a generous gift from the Price family, Youth Horizons plans a new group home project on the outskirts of Wichita: The Kinloch Price Boys Ranch.
Boys Ranch Opens
The Kinloch Boys Ranch opens, and the Martin House is closed. The project included the opening of four homes and an education center over multiple years.
A Second Property
Keith Wren commits his estate, including his rural Valley Center property and a substantial financial gift, for the establishment of a girls’ group home.
Youth Horizons moves from The Dandelion building on east Douglas to a new location at Douglas and Washington Avenue.
Wren HOuse Opens
Youth Horizons opens its first home property for girls, Wren House, named after Keith Wren. The project includes two homes and an education center.
As the co-founder of Youth Horizons, Earnest Alexander cast the vision to support the young people he saw in his community who slipped through the cracks because of family dynamics beyond their control. He mentored young people himself, often serving as a father figure for them. Today, many of the kids Earnest invested in are grown adults with families of their own who are following his example.
Growing up in the South during the 50s and 60s, Earnest was intimately familiar with discrimination and segregation. His single mother raised him and six siblings, working hard to make ends meet for the family. It was during this pivotal time of his life, that Earnest longed for and started to recognize the need young people have for strong male influences in their lives.
Though he retired in 2019, Earnest’s message of hope, delivered through his poignant music, points Christians to one of Christ’s great teachings, “Let the little children come unto Me.” Through sharing his commitment for young people, Earnest inspired a legacy that continues on through Youth Horizons for the next generation.
Jeff Wenzel served first as theDirector of The Dandelion coffee house until it evolved into Youth Horizons in 1986. As its Executive Director, Jeff was known for his huge heart, passion for life, and faithfulness. Jeff passed away on April 21, 2007, after a courageous 4-year battle with brain cancer. Though his time on earth was shorter than his friends and family anticipated, Jeff’s impact on Youth Horizons has been evident since its beginning. In memoriam, his name headlines the 2-mile walk/run at the annual Easter Sun Run, and graces a house at the Kinloch Price Boys Ranch.
Dick & Harriet
Seed Funders, KPBR
Dick and Harriet Price’s relationship with Youth Horizons began with a plate of cookies for the Martin House in 1990. Over time, the Prices observed the notable influence of Youth Horizons and extended more substantial support.
In 2004, they met with Earnest Alexander to discuss his long-term vision. Earnest shared his dream—a place on the edge of the city that could accommodate boys in three or four homes. A dream that included land, horses, cattle, and even small crops, a playground for the boys to develop work ethic.
Eventually, Youth Horizons found 77 acres with large fields, streams for fishing, and room to run, work, and play. With the hope of young boys becoming men of promise, the Prices purchased the land and donated it to Youth Horizons in 2005.
Today, it is home to the Kinloch Price Boys Ranch. Without the generosity, dedication, and vision of Dick and Harriet Price, the land, the program, and the lives transformed would have remained nothing more than a dream.
Seed Funder, Wren House
Wichita-native Keith Wren believed in the ministry of Youth Horizons and the work its residential program did to help boys handle hardship and overcome difficult life challenges. He later expressed interest in a similar opportunity for girls who might also face challenging life circumstances.
After being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2018, Keith reached out to Earnest Alexander intending to endow 50 acres of his property to Youth Horizons and establish a seed fund to start a girls’ home.
Keith’s vision came to fruition with the opening of the Wren House in December 2022. In addition to two homes, the property includes a multipurpose education center to facilitate activities and opportunities for personal growth and community.
From a legacy giver.
Learning to live beyond one’s self is the greatest blessing of life.”