2005 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

Macie Houston

Sumner High School, 1969Macie Houston

Put your best foot forward. This is advice that has carried Macie Houston through her life.

It came from her Northeast Junior High School vice principal during a speech he made to students. It influenced her and has fared her well.

Today Houston is the regional director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) four-state Region VII: Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. In this position, she is HUD's liaison to mayors, city managers, elected representatives, state and local officials and business and community stakeholders.

Houston holds a bachelor of science in business administration from St. Mary University. And throughout her career she has held leadership roles in many community organizations, including the Greater Kansas City Federal Executive Board, Board of Trustees for St. Mary University, Outreach Ministries and the Territorial Kansas Heritage Alliance. She was nominated for Who's Who among female college students in 1979 and received the Brown Foundation State Award for Equity and Excellence in 1997. In 2003, she was selected the Outstanding Woman of the Year by Friends of Yates, Inc. for her meaningful contributions to her profession, family and community.

Growing up in a family of nine children, Houston said her greatest challenge during her school years was finding her own identity. But the support and guidance she received from her teachers in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools affected her in a positive way and gave her a sense of direction.

She believes that education plays a strong role in students' futures, but a belief in oneself is even more important. She wants to pass along to today's students that same advice she received as a teen: put your best foot forward. "Strive for all those things that you believe, and you will achieve success."