2016 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

Timothy L. Dupree

Timothy L. DupreeWyandotte High School, 1994

Other Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Attended: Vance Elementary, Northwest Middle

Some people’s lives follow a clear and well thought-through plan. Others find that their life unfolds in ways that they never expected. For Timothy Dupree, while he might never have imagined as a kid growing up in Kansas City, Kansas that he would become a district court judge, he believes he is exactly where he was meant to be.

Dupree readily admits that he didn’t always take his education that seriously. Still, there were adults at Wyandotte who supported him and looked out for him, including Rich and Susan Enloe and Robert Brown, his wrestling coach. However, as a “C” student without a lot of drive or direction, there were people in his life who didn’t believe he would succeed, and in his first try at community college, he proved them right.

Back in KCK, he worked at a job where he didn’t see a path forward, and he felt stuck. Realizing that others around him, who had been in that job for many years, also felt trapped, he decided that he was not going to allow that to become his story. He decided to give college a try again, this time believing that he could be successful. He enrolled in community college, becoming the first one in his family to earn a degree. From there, he enrolled at the University of Kansas, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.

On a lark, he walked into the Law School on campus, asked how to apply to law school, and decided he wanted to become a lawyer. He took the LSAT, applied to law school, and was accepted. After graduation, he worked as a prosecutor in Lyon County, before moving back to KCK to start his own practice. In 2014, he won election to the district court.

As a judge, Dupree enjoys helping people, and trying to make sure that everyone is treated fairly. When he is on the bench, he tries to inspire people, to provide recommendations and encouragement, remembering that sometimes people need an encouraging word.

Dupree’s advice for students? “Go after what you want. You can achieve what ever you put your heart to, what ever you truly believe and work for. Hope, believe and act. If you can hope for it, believe in it and act on it, you can achieve it.”