2012 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

Robert Johnston

robert johnstonJ.C. Harmon High School, 1984

Robert Johnston is proud to know that his work supports soldiers who are sacrificing their lives for this country. He works for the Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM) supporting the U.S. Army. He leads a team that inventories the equipment of military units prior to their redeployment back to the U.S. He is currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Prior to this work for the U.S. government, Johnston served as a solider in the Army so he understands how important his work is to the troops.

Responsibility is something that came to Johnston at a young age. As the oldest sibling in a single-parent family, Johnston was charged with taking care of his siblings when his mom made the decision to go back to college. His mom's determination to better herself, served as an inspiration to him. She set an example for him and gave him reasons to believe in himself.

His middle school math teacher and basketball coach, Michael Patterson, also gave him reasons to believe while he was growing up. Patterson mentored students, including Johnston. He spent time with them after school, and even fed many whom he knew had little to eat at home. The examples set by his mother and teacher showed him that any goal is attainable with hard work.

Johnston is thankful for the education he received from the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, but not just the academic learning. He said the life lessons that came from teachers and staff have helped carry him throughout his life.

He has received several awards for his professional work including the National Defense Medal Army Service Ribbon, Army Commendation Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Star, Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, NATO Award, Global War on Terrorism and the Officers Professional Development Ribbon.

His advice for today's students is: Always believe in yourself!