The Community Partner Award was presented to a trifecta of outstanding school superintendents. They were each recognized for launching a pilot program that enables their high school students to ride regional transit at no cost to them.
The winners of the Spirit of Rosa Parks 2019 Community Partner Awards are:
Dr. Mark Bedell, Superintendent, Kansas City Public Schools
Dr. Yolanda Cargile, Superintendent, Hickman Mills C-1 Public Schools
Dr. Michael Weishaar, Interim Superintendent, Center Public Schools
“We didn’t do this expecting an award,” said Dr. Bedell. “The impact is more important for me and our students can easily speak to the difference this is making in their lives.” Because of their leadership, 60,000 trips were made by district students accessing jobs, internships and after school activities.
"We are a district that is really working on college and career readiness, and increasing value and assets for our students and providing those internships," said Dr. Cargile. "And this opportunity opens up possibilities when students may not have their own transportation, or parents are at work and can't get them there."
Students can testify how riding the bus has helped them and prepared them for the world after high school.
"When I was in school, I was working down on Troost at De La Salle for Youth Ambassadors, and so I was using it to get to and from there. And also to go to places with my family and friends," former Ruskin High student Destiny Webb said. "Students need ways to get to work, and it'll teach them how the real world is beyond high school."
Ruskin high school students cheer the new Youth Pass at the program kick-off in October 2018.
About the 2019 Spirit of Rosa Parks Awards
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) recognized local leaders at the 2019 Rosa Parks Spirit Awards at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland on August 27, 2019. KCATA’s 7th annual signature event honors local individuals and organizations who are making a positive impact on the region’s transit industry.