2013 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

Joni J. Franklin

Washington High School, 1989

Joni FranklinLaw was always something that interested Joni Franklin, even in elementary school. She just knew that she was going to be a lawyer some day.

Today, Franklin manages her own law firm in Wichita, Kansas, specializing in workers' compensation, personal injury and labor relations.

 

She believes that her years in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools played a pivotal role in preparing her for her future. Her involvement in debate and forensics gave her practice in public speaking, and her exposure to a wide variety of students from different socioeconomic backgrounds and diverse ethnicities prepared her for the real world.

"I'm very proud to be a Dotte," she said. "KCK has its own culture. People miss out when they're not exposed to that type of community."

She credits her high school guidance counselor, Ruth Goheen, for encouraging her and supporting her dreams. After high school, Franklin attended Kansas State University for her undergraduate degree, and then was accepted into law school at the University of Kansas. During law school, Franklin studied one semester abroad in Nairobi. While there she did relief work for the United Nations. She worked in refugee camps and helped give nutritional assistance to under-nourished children. This experience shaped her life. She knew she wanted to be the kind of lawyer who helped those who can't necessarily help themselves.

Franklin believes that what you give in life, you get out of life. That's why she has always given service to others. She is active in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Arthritis Foundation, among other groups. Her work with the Kansas Bar Foundation gave her the privilege of serving as the organization's President. She received the Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year award in 2005 from the Kansas Bar Association.