How do you take a disadvantage and turned it to an advantage? Kimberly Hallums knows how—she went from being out of work in a town she disliked to living, working, and studying in a city and at a school that she loves!
Stuck in a small town in South Carolina where she didn’t fit in, Kimberly felt isolated. “My little voice didn’t matter,” she shares. Kimberly had applied to Trinity for graduate school, but was unable to come the year she was accepted. She was out of work for four months, before she managed to nab position in a restaurant where she could just eke out a daily living.
But Kimberly never gave up her goal of getting to Washington, DC, and to Trinity.
Kimberly first visited Trinity and Washington, DC in 2008. Kimberly was looking for a school that provided more one-on-one attention than the large state university she attended for her undergraduate coursework. In addition, Kimberly wanted to be in a larger city that was more progressive than where she was currently living. Trinity and Washington, DC were perfect fits!
The intimate classes at Trinity were a relief after Kimberly’s undergraduate experience. “There were up to 300 people in some classes [at my undergraduate school]. There was no personal attention. At Trinity, people know your name and actually care. There’s always someone on campus to help you out, and answer to your question.”
The campus location was perfect: not downtown, but close enough to get everywhere quickly. Best of all, it was Washington, DC! Kimberly longed to broaden her horizons, open her mind, and maybe even take part in a protest or two. The progressive, political atmosphere of Washington was ideal.
With a non-profit or government future in mind, Kimberly wanted to be in DC.
Making Graduate School Work
So Kimberly began looking for ways to make graduate school work. Finally, she found a solution. Against incredibly stiff competition, Kimberly applied for and was accepted into an Americorps program based in DC.
Kimberly eagerly reapplied to Trinity and was accepted into Trinity’s School of Professional Studies (SPS). Because the SPS offers coursework and schedules specifically tailored to the working adult, Kimberly was able to keep her Americorps position and finally start classes at Trinity.
The Trinity Experience
Kimberly has thoroughly enjoyed the complete Trinity experience.
- Small Classes.
The class sizes are a great fit, allowing her the one-on-one face time she had to fight for during undergraduate days.
She has to attend multiple conferences for her Americorps position and the faculty members have been very accommodating, working with Kimberly to make sure she doesn’t fall behind.
- Close Community.
In addition to the attentive faculty and intimate classes, Kimberly loves the family environment throughout campus. “People care; people look out for you. You get to know all your classmates…more study buddies!” As a female graduate student, Kimberly was able to make additional connections, by taking advantage of Trinity’s on-campus housing.
When Kimberly’s speech-writing course challenged students to prepare a commencement address, she knew what she was going to write about. She took all her experiences and gathered them on paper.
“I wrote a commencement speech to my classmates about my story, about how you take a disadvantage and turn it to an advantage.” Kimberly made sure to remind them, “As a graduate, you can do anything if you set your mind to it.”