Pathway To Hope is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization founded by Dick and Sharon Lawrenz in December 2000.

In 1988, Sharon and Dick Lawrenz’s 11 year old son was diagnosed with mental illness. The couple struggled through a cumbersome Mental Health System and as a result of those taxing experiences, Pathway To Hope became a dream. They wanted to help other families.  “No one should navigate the uncharted waters of mental illness alone,” Sharon said.


Executive Director – Kiersten Adkins

Kiersten has served the Kansas City’s non-profit community for more than 20 years and has been the Executive Director for Pathway To Hope since January of 2014.

She is married to John and together they have a bountiful family that includes eleven children (including spouses) and nine delightful grandkids. Kiersten holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership & Ethics and Bible & Theology from the Nazarene Bible College and a Master’s Degree in Counseling at MidAmerica Nazarene University. She operates a private practice specializing in trauma recovery, severe & persistent mental illness and family dynamics. (

Mental illness came home for the Adkins when their daughter faced a mental health crisis at twelve years old. She spent much of her adolescence in and out of residential treatment facilities, finding the right medications and learning to cope with a new reality. This experience has allowed the family to develop a compassion that can only come from personal experience.

Kiersten has developed a strong belief that no challenge or heartache is wasted and she has become devoted to nurturing joy. Her suffering theology has enabled her to see that pain provides a unique opportunity for growth and that every story is precious. When teaching, Kiersten draw from her faith, experiences and humor to present compassionate, hope-filled messages to everyone, but especially those whose lives have been touched by mental illness. Her compassion and wisdom are evident when she’s speaking to a group, or interacting one on one.

You an reach Kiersten by email: or by phone during regular office hours at (913) 397-8552

Who We AreFounder, Executive Director Emeritus – Sharon Lawrenz

Sharon survived the trauma of her son’s mental health problems. She learned to cope with her own mental health. Strength over pathology prevailed in Sharon’s life.

And that’s how she guides the agency today – building better lives for those suffering with mental illness; strengthening distraught families; providing emotional health check-ups.

Sharon combines her experiences, faith, and humor to present compassionate, hope-filled messages to those whose lives have been touched by mental illness.

Board of Directors

Stan Stark – Chairman
Kay Salter – Vice Chairman
Jenny Zimmerman – Secretary
Tom Galbrecht – Treasurer
Members at Large:
Ron Shrum
Maurice Bowersox
Trent Schwab

Organizational Leaders

Larry Zimmerman – Blake House Manager
Deedra Dowd – Facilitator Coordinator

Tracie Glasscock – Trainer & E3 Facilitator
Dick & Sharon Lawrenz – E3 Facilitators
Bev Behm – E3 Facilitator

Jim Keller – External Affairs Committee Chair
Jennifer Donahue Runyan – Networking & Business Liaison
Erin Kuntzsch – 2018 Gala Coordinators (
Deidra Rains – 2018 Walk for Hope Coordinator (