Yellowjacket Heroes

Thanking those who serve our communities

There are many Center alumni and community members who go above and beyond the call of duty every day to serve others. This page is an opportunity to share some of their stories and to thank them for their service. We are starting this page during a time of pandemic, but hope to continue to add to it over time. If you have a story that you would like to tell, please send the details to Rick Chambers at rick@CenterEducationFoundation.org. Rick will follow up with any requests for additional information.

Making our world a better place, one Yellowjacket at a time


Educators make a difference. Consider the story of 2014 CHS graduate, Erick Boone. Inspired by a nudge from his High School Principal to explore the world, Erick has journeyed from south Kansas City to Harvard University to the State Department.  Read More






First responders, like Michael Ruff (class of 1986), are often faced with life & death situations as they encounter their patients. Taking urgent actions needed to save a persons life are balanced with the need to protect themselves with the proper equipment.  Michael recently spent 14 days in COVID-19 quarantine after an on-the-job exposure. Read More




Protecting the legal rights of those who cannot afford counsel is a fundamental principle of the justice system. Public Defender Walter Stokely (CHS class of 2005) is on the front lines of that work with a focus on defending young people who are involved with the court system. COVID-19 has made an already difficult job even more so. Read More



Dialysis is a life saving treatment for patients with kidney disease. Sharon Ajjarapu of the class of 2006, a registered nurse who works with those patients, faces the challenge of providing treatment even for COVID-19 positive patients in these times of pandemic. Building relationships with patients is the reason that Sharon became a dialysis nurse and she continues to be there for patients in spite of the risks. Read More




Dr. Kathleen Stone (CHS class of 1974) is a volunteer physician with Heart the Heart International. During the pandemic, she is providing much needed medical support to Hope Faith Mission in the downtown Kansas City area. With Heart to Heart, Kathleen combines her love the outdoors with her zeal to serve others. Read More



Tracy MacClement (CHS class of 1972) refers to her work as a Hospice Chaplain as a “Ministry of Presence”.  The essence is simply “being present” with her patients as they reach the end of their lives. Holding hands, leaning in close to listen, sharing a quiet prayer, singing songs, and reading together are all acts that are not possible in a time of pandemic. Many of Tracy’s patients are in facilities that are locked down from visitors, even chaplains.  Read More



Confusion. Uncertainty. Fear. These are all emotions that 2002 graduate Artesha Gladney encounters in patients as a scheduler for the University of Kansas Medical Center. The rapidly changing landscape of medical care has created challenges for both patients and health care workers as they deal with new policies and procedures almost daily as the medical understanding of COVID-19 changes. Read More



Washing your hands is important. As the Life Enrichment Director at Homestead of Overland Park Senior Care Center, 1988 CHS graduate Kris Lentz has the opportunity to serve others on a daily basis. When serving a population of older adults, ensuring that potential exposure to the coronavirus is minimized has become a truly fundamental part of that service. Therefore the mantra - wash your hands, wash them well, and wash them often.  Read More



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