2006 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

Michael Macias, Jr.

J.C. Harmon High School, 1986Michael Macias, Jr.

Michael Macias is a role model for youth, and a community and business leader.

A corporate professional and U.S. Navy Reserves officer, he lives by the motto, "life is what you make it" and he has thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

Growing up in a large family, he didn't know if college was an affordable option so he joined the Navy upon graduating from J.C. Harmon High School. His goal was to learn a trade. He was highly successful and was hand-picked to be an instructor after his first tour of duty. He studied the field of aviation electronics and at the age of 21, became one of the youngest aviation electronics instructors and course managers in the Navy. He received two Achievement Medals for his training management accomplishments.

He went on to earn his bachelor's degree in education (with honors) from Southern Illinois University and an MBA from Baker University. He has designed and developed education and training programs for corporate giants such as Applebee's International and Sprint PCS, all the while serving in the Navy Reserves.

He said he loves the Navy because he loves helping people. But his service to his country and community doesn't stop with the Navy. Over the years, he has served as a volunteer with a number of youth organizations including Big Brothers and Sisters, Junior Achievement, Pop Warner Football and the YMCA. He also has dedicated countless hours to the Rose Brooks Center for domestic violence. And he is active in the International Society for Performance Improvement, KC Chapter, where he recently ended his term as president.

Macias said growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas School District taught him to be accountable and responsible. He is grateful to influential teachers like Ms. Perkins at Harmon. His stepfather, Jesse Trujillo, also gave him reasons to believe in himself and encouraged him to make a difference through his strong influence.