Carolyn came to Kalamazoo after graduating from high school in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1969. Her impression of race relations in the North, compared to a segregated South, was “what heaven will be like; people living together.”

Carolyn is strongly committed to community service. It is as much a part of her life as “everyday breathing.”

She started work at the Kalamazoo County Community Action Program, which helped connect families with resources they needed. She participated in the early stages of planning the Family Health Center before she joined her husband at Fort Hood, TX. Upon her return to Kalamazoo, she was employed at the Family Health Center for some sixteen years.

Over the years, Carolyn has worked with nearly a dozen community organizations, including Loaves & Fishes, Douglass Community Association and the YWCA Domestic Assault Program.

From 1989 to 2005, she was a member of the Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education, fulfilling the responsibilities of treasurer, secretary, vice president and president during her tenure.

Carolyn currently serves on the board of Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo.

She earned the Ujima "Liberator" Award, a national award given to African American educators who have demonstrated devotion to excellent education.

In 2006, she was elected to the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners and has been very active on that board.

Carolyn has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is currently employed at KVCC and has been with KVCC for over 21 years.

Carolyn is a wife, mother and grandmother. She is also a member of Galilee Baptist Church.

This community is blessed to have Carolyn Alford here, living her commitment, giving her time and serving in so many ways.