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KC Ballet's only black ballerina is honored to dance lead in 'The Nutcracker' 1:31

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  • Mother of Kara Kopetsky shares common experience with family of missing Raymore woman

    Rhonda Beckford of Belton, Mo., mother of Kara Kopetsky, 17, whose has been missing for nine years, expressed her concerns for family members of missing 21-year-old Jessica Runions of Raymore. Runions has been missing since Thursday.

Rhonda Beckford of Belton, Mo., mother of Kara Kopetsky, 17, whose has been missing for nine years, expressed her concerns for family members of missing 21-year-old Jessica Runions of Raymore. Runions has been missing since Thursday. Joe Ledord The Kansas City Star
Rhonda Beckford of Belton, Mo., mother of Kara Kopetsky, 17, whose has been missing for nine years, expressed her concerns for family members of missing 21-year-old Jessica Runions of Raymore. Runions has been missing since Thursday. Joe Ledord The Kansas City Star

How Kara Kopetsky’s family turned her story into lessons for us all

September 12, 2016 07:43 PM

UPDATED September 12, 2016 08:49 PM

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  • Teen writes about living at home with the crack addict her mother married

    "I sat outside my home and listened to my sister scream for help," wrote Kayla Perez, 21, of Overland Park, who is the author of the first story in a new book, "Welcome to My Neighborhood." It is framed as a children's book, similar to Golden Books, but the stories are true, dire and grim. They're written by teenagers in the Youth Ambassador program, including Perez, who penned her story when she was 17 years old and living under the same roof as a crack addict her mother had married. The book, a pro bono project of the advertising and marketing company VML, will be introduced to Kansas City civic leaders at a dinner Tuesday. The Youth Ambassador program promotes youth development and addresses social and academic challenges for underserved teenagers.