2011 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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

Vernon Birmingham

F.L. Schlagle High School, 1995Vernon Birmingham

Whether he's coaching, mentoring, teaching or ministering, Vernon Birmingham is dedicated to the youth of Kansas City, Kansas.

Growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, Birmingham was inspired by a number of teachers who challenged and mentored him, some who still keep in touch with him today. When he went off to college he knew he would return to give back to his community that had prepared him for his future — and he did.

After receiving his bachelor of arts in political science from Wartburg College, he returned home and volunteered his time to help coach football at his alma mater. Soon he became a part of the faculty, teaching business classes, while continuing to coach both football and baseball. While teaching, he founded Making It Plain Ministries and began organizing events to give youth a safe, positive and inexpensive outlet for fun.

Soon he was impacting students at the college level, as the assistant director of admissions at Midland Lutheran College, in Freemont, Neb. While there, he focused recruitment efforts on KCK students, exposing them to the opportunities available to them, and arranging scholarships for them.

Today, Birmingham works as a program manager for Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas, an organization that focuses on teaching entrepreneurship skills to high school students. What he likes most about his work is helping students create value for themselves.

He also serves youth in the area today through his affiliation with The Urban Scholastic Center. He believes that ministry work is not only preaching, but rather about reaching out to show you care, and setting an example. With the Urban Scholastic Center, groups have been organized to read to students at Mark Twain Elementary, and athletic gear and meals have been provided for numerous high school athletic teams in the district.

His advice for today's students is: take advantage of those opportunities available to you.

A Question and Answer Video of Veron Birmingham has been posted on SchoolTube (Time: 6:27).