2016 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

Reasons to Believe logo

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

John William Hudson, II, M.Ed.

John William HudsonWashington High School, 1996

Other Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Attended: Stony Point North Elementary, Arrowhead Middle

A favorite quote of John William Hudson, II, is from the impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh which states: “Great things do not just happen by impulse, but as a succession of small things linked together.” “Sometimes people think success happens overnight. To the contrary, you have to take the small steps for the big things to happen,” he said.

This is how he has viewed his life – small steps that have led to big things happening for him. As a youth, he had to work harder because of his dyslexia, which caused him to see words and letters backwards. It made it difficult for him to read and to write, but he credits his faith in God and putting in the work with helping him overcome the reading disorder.

It comes as no surprise that his profession is focused on helping youth gain success academically and personally.  He is a counselor at a metropolitan area counseling center as well as the chief executive officer and president of Focus Driven Enterprises, LLC an enterprise focusing on academic and spiritual growth.

Through the company, he created a fictional character known as Fred Dexter that is receiving praise for its positive message to prevent bullying and the use of cell phones during school hours. Fred Dexter and Friends is a book series showcasing the journey of an African-American boy in Kansas City, Kansas who wants to do what is right, but at times falls short of this aspiration because of peer pressure. The character overcomes his dilemmas through the advice of his teacher, Mr. Hudson. If you are thinking that the fictional teacher is modeled after Hudson, you are correct. 

Hudson is a motivational speaker and former semiprofessional basketball player who played on the International basketball team, Athletes in Action, in Suva, Fiji and Auckland New Zealand in 2002. 

He has a bachelor’s degree in youth and family ministry from MidAmerica Nazarene University  in Olathe, and a master’s degree in both higher education from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas and in counseling from Webster University in Kansas City. 

A resident of Kansas City, Mo., he was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. Among his greatest joy is instilling the values taught to him by his parents in his sons, two-year-old Jordan Hudson and 10-year-old Jayzon Hudson.

What advice does he have for students? “If you can’t cut it, you can’t stay. You will have to figure out how to get in there and grind so you can stay.” These words from Mr. Hudson’s father have guided him throughout his life.