Institutional Research and Assessment

Transfer Student Project: Kimberly's Story

Photo of Kimberly at the Tacoma Campus

Another photo of Kimberly

Kimberly transferred to Evergreen’s Tacoma campus from Tacoma Community College, despite a full scholarship to both the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University. Her road to higher education was not easy. She spent years addicted to and selling drugs, spending time in jail and prison. “I’m not proud of what I came from, but I accept it and I know that I can utilize where I’ve come from to help those who are still there to come out of that.” Kimberly is a model of Tacoma’s motto, ‘Enter to learn; depart to serve,’ as she has studied public policy and administration—specifically in the area of under-represented populations—through the Upside Down Degree Program.

Download a Windows Media File with clips from an interview with Kimberly. (This is a WMA file and should play on your computer using Windows Media Player)

“I’ve always had some misconceptions and some dissatisfaction with how justice is not for everyone, has not been practiced that way. Here I learned that it is up to each individual to make those changes.” While these lessons were learned through programs at the college, Kimberly took the ideas to heart and pushed onward. Through Evergreen, she acquired a legislative internship, which she engaged in on top of her participation with Child Protective Services and Post-Prison Education System.

Kimberly’s work has transcended collaboration with different agencies and organizations, reaching out into the community as well. She attributes these skills to her education at Evergreen, and reciprocates by spreading the word about higher education throughout the Tacoma area. “I tell [people] that education will help them get a better-paying job where all their money won’t be going to pay childcare or bills… they will be fulfilled because it is something they want to do instead of working because you have to. Then I tell them how great Evergreen is, as far as helping you to learn and finding out how you learn… They just know that different people learn differently, and that helps you succeed at the level that you learn… I’m always telling them, ‘Education, education!’ Because education helps you feel better about yourself. Awesome.”

“I was surprised at the level of respect for diverse opinions, the ability here to disagree without making someone else wrong, to be open to other perspectives, and to be open to change your way of thinking if the other argument is presented in a way that you can accept. I love that.” Evergreen’s atmosphere of integrated learning, collaboration, its emphasis of community participation, and its goals toward making a difference have all imbued Kimberly with a drive and passion for learning. “The more I learn the more I know that I don’t know very much, so I just really love knowing that I’ll never know everything, and that I always want to keep learning, even when I’m done with school, I want to just always continue learning more. So that’s what I got from here: knowledge is power.”