20 Under 40: Kevin Christians
Photo by Nathan Ham
In 2012, a series of teen suicides inspired Kevin to create Café Barnabas, a place he hoped young people could feel comfortable connecting with caring adult mentors.
Café Barnabas, located in West Ridge Mall, employs youth volunteers and allows students to develop employable skillsets, provide community service hours, and build a resume. The tea shop has directly impacted the lives of 250 students since inception and indirectly made over 3,000 student connections in 2017 alone.
What do you see as your role in making Topeka a better place to live and work?My firm belief in three things allows me to enhance the community of Topeka.
First, students possess the potential to vastly improve their community when challenged to do so, mentored to develop required skills, and empowered to secure the resources necessary to accomplish their vision of a better tomorrow. My role is to constantly improve the platform from which this leadership journey begins.
Second, Topeka is blessed with many incredible community leaders and youth pastors. Collaborative efforts are always more effective and efficient. I diligently promote and connect community influencers with the goal of increasing Topeka’s mentorship capacity.
Third, I’ve been blessed to launch and use a business as a ministry tool. One of my personal distinguishing characteristics is I strive to serve with excellence. We have gained national recognition as a top teashop resulting from our constant desire for improvement and innovation. My role is to educate, develop, and promote the enjoyment of sensory captivating tea.