2008 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

Melissa A. Bynum

Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, 1981
Melissa A. Bynum

Melissa Bynum is a third generation Wyandotte Countian who is dedicated to her community.

As director of resource development for the Wyandotte County Chapter of the American Red Cross, she assists with fund raising, grant writing and marketing efforts for this service organization that provides relief to victims of disasters.

Bynum may be best known throughout the community for her nine years as executive director for the Leavenworth Road Association. During her term there, Wyandotte County was hit by a tornado in May 2003, leaving massive damage to property and homes. Bynum organized crews of volunteers to conduct weekly cleanups for two months to help residents through the crisis. She was recognized for these efforts and others when she received the 2004 Citizenship Award in the Best of Wyandotte County program.

Her involvement in community organizations is endless. She is president of the Shepherd's Center, a member of the Women's Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis West and the KCK/Wyandotte County Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board.

She believes in the power of education and is thankful that the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools provided her with the education and life skills she needed to be successful. A dedicated student, she graduated summa cum laude from Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, where she was active on the basketball and volleyball teams, yearbook staff, vocal music and Spanish Club. She remembers many great teachers who gave her reasons to believe in herself, including Ginger Ireton, Stan Jasinskas and Ruth Campos.

Bynum is a 1985 graduate of Kansas State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications.

Her advice for today's students is the same advice she gives to her own children: "Develop and maintain good study habits. You'll be amazed at how it will serve you later."