NU Student Overcomes Adversity To Win National Fellowship Award In Gerontology
“Nontraditional” doesn’t even begin to describe Niagara University student Kimberly Kennedy. The 32-year-old senior has already withstood more trials than many people endure in a lifetime.
Kennedy grew up in Centralia, Wash., without the presence of a father. When she was 13, her mother was brutally murdered, leaving Kennedy and her sister without biological parents. Still, she graduated high school with honors in 2001 “to show the world that children of parents who suffered from drug dependency were not doomed to the same fate,” she said.
After high school, Kennedy owned and operated a prosperous bakery and cafe in Onalaska, Wash., again to prove that a young woman could play a successful hand even with the deck stacked against her.
It is this mindset, coupled with exemplary academic performance, that led the North Atlantic Region of Soroptimist International of the Americas to present Kennedy with the Ethel F. Lord Fellowship Award in the amount of $5,000. The honor, granted to an “outstanding graduate program candidate in the field of gerontology,” will be bestowed on Kennedy during a luncheon next month in Gettysburg, Pa.