2005 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

Rosalyn Story

Sumner High School, 1968Rosalyn Story

She knows how to play to a crowd. That's probably the best way to describe musician and writer Rosalyn Story.

A violinist with the Fort Worth (Texas) Symphony, Story has been playing to audiences for more than 32 years. She got her start in music with the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra after studying violin at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Her love of music inspired her to write about it and her works have been praised by the media nationwide. She is the author of two books, the nonfiction, And So I Sing: African-American Divas of Opera and Concert, and More Than You Know, a tale of family ties and secrets that includes jazz settings.

She feels fortunate to be able to interweave her two career interests and to use her creative talents to touch others.

Growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, Story said her biggest challenge was deciding what she wanted to do after high school. Her interests were vast and varied. But the support and encouragement she received from her music teacher at Northeast Junior High nurtured her and gave her a solid base from which to flourish musically.

"He told us we could do anything we wanted to do. He was extremely positive about our possibilities and potential," she remembers.

Story looks back on her days in the district with pride, and hasn't forgotten her roots. In 2004, while she was in Kansas City for a book tour, she visited with students at Arrowhead Middle School, performing for them on the violin and visiting with them about writing. She gave many of the students a reason to believe in themselves.

Story's advice for today's students is to find a passion and use it to learn the critical skills that will lead them through their lives.