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2003 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Clarence Small

Wyandotte High School — Class of 1975Clarence Small

Born and raised in Kansas City, Kan., Clarence Small has been presented with plenty of opportunities to leave his birthplace. Instead, he has stayed loyal to Wyandotte County, a place in which he is passionate about making positive changes.

It is hard to imagine Clarence, who currently works for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, giving any more than he already has to the area he so dearly loves. For 19 years, he worked at the Kaw Valley Center, a private behavioral healthcare organization that provides programs for children, adolescents, and their families who are at risk. During this time, Clarence served as the director of emergency services, director of community services, and director of training. He also served as staff liaison for the Foster Grandparent Program.

As if devoting his working hours to the community was not enough, Clarence has also decided to commit his personal time as well. Clarence serves on the boards of Wyandotte Interfaith Sponsoring Council and Heartland Campfire Council, and is an adult coordinator for the KCK NAACP Youth Council. In addition, he is a member of the Bethel Seventh Day Adventist church, where he serves as the associate elder in charge of youth ministries.

Clarence, who graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1975, was most influenced in his youth by his family and teachers. Influenced by his aunt, the importance of education was constantly emphasized by her and his Mother. He always felt his teachers truly cared about his well-being, which has made a substantial difference in his life.

Clarence's current role at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is with the Administration for Children and Families. His responsibilities include providing guidance for researching and implementing Congressional/Presidential initiatives, whose aim is to build sustaining networks and partnerships in Head Start and youth programs throughout Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas.

Clarence lives in Kansas City, Kan., with his wife, Darlene. It should probably come as no surprise that Darlene is a schoolteacher.