Wonderful news often come to those who work hard, focus on their hopes-turned-dreams-turned goals. That’s what happened to Kimberley Kern, a recent graduate from the Northern Arizona University Yuma Branch Campus BASW program. Kimberley is the recipient of the Ruth E. Brasher Endowment Fellowship, offered by Phi Kappa Phi. There are 58 fellowships awarded each year, and only one came to the state of Arizona – and that came to our own Kimberley Kern.
The fellowship offers a significant cash award which is able to be used at any accredited university. Ms. Kern is using hers to complete her masters of social work with Advanced Standing at the prestigious Fordham University (New York) in the Administration and Policy cognate of their program. Her internship will be with the Urban Assembly Charter HS community – a group of 23 schools where interns work with students on social and emotional learning.
Kim and her spouse and children are summering in New Mexico with family before moving to New York city to begin their time there. A family member will move with her to attend high school and experience life in another geographic area of the U.S. When the degree is attained, the family will return to Yuma until her husband is transferred to his next assignment with the military.
Asked if there is anything she would like to say to others, Ms. Kern responded, “I am so often reminded of one statement by Elie Wiesel where he noted that Silence helps the tormenter, never the tormented.” She continued that the world is in turmoil, so uncertain right now, that this work is a calling that tells her this is where she is needed. Her social work education compounded with her life experiences and innate desire to work toward equity for all has served only as a reinforcement of who she is and is meant to be. It moves her forward.
Congratulations to this amazing woman and remember that her journey took her through Yuma, Arizona and all the experiences of Northern Arizona University.
-Ruth Whisler, PhD, Social Worker