2007 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

JaKyta Sullivan

F.L. Schlagle High School, 1995JaKyta Sullivan

JaKyta Sullivan is a role model and leader for youth in Kansas City, Kansas. She wants to empower students to believe in themselves.

In 2004, Sullivan founded the Wyandotte County Community Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides evening programs and activities for area youth. Through the foundation, she began the Theatre for Inner City Youth and the Art of Music Through Me, two arts programs that allow students to express their creativity and develop their spirits. These programs are dear to Sullivan's heart as she grew up surrounded by the arts.

At the age of five, Sullivan began performing with her mother, sister and brother at various churches throughout the community. The Sullivan Singers sang gospel music and the exposure presented new opportunities for Sullivan. She recorded a gospel single at age 13 and performed on local television programs. At age 14, she landed a part in a production with Coterie Children's Theatre, and stayed with the group until age 19 performing throughout the Midwest and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Her inspiration for the arts while growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools came from Amy Crouse, her music teacher at Eugene Ware Elementary School.

"She encouraged me so much. She told me I had a beautiful voice and that I should do something with it," Sullivan remembers. "She always had something positive to say to me every day."

Her parents also instilled in her reasons to believe in herself and she wants to provide today's students with that same inspiration.

Sullivan has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Park University and aspires to attend Washburn Law School in the fall of 2008. For the past five years she has worked in various positions for the KCK Public Schools. She is part of the 2007 graduating class of Leadership 2000.