Kim Smith Minneapolis, MN Class of 2004 Social Work
Tell us about the work you do: I am a licensed graduate social worker and have spent the last four years working primarily with homeless youth. I have worked in a shelter for 11-17 year-old females and more recently in a transitional living program for 16-25 year-old homeless youth working toward independence. I am currently assisting my former supervisor in starting another Foyer Program to help end homelessness, specifically with our youth.Please see our website for more information www.twincitiesfoyerassociation.org. I have also just been hired as a school social worker at an elementary school in the Cities.
A source of pride in your life: I find pride in the successes of the youth with which I work. When I help a poverty stricken, homeless, 16-year-old find stable housing, enroll back in school, secure employment, and get accepted into college, I can't help but feel pride in the work I do!
Best St. Scholastica memory: My favorite memories at St. Scholastica are the Imagine retreats. I stepped out of my comfort zone and agreed to attend one and to lead it the following year. It was during these retreats that I learned my purpose and the path for my future.
Significant influences: There were two St. Scholastica staff members that were an incredible support system to me throughout my years at the College: Mary Beth Waage and Missy Grindahl. I thank them for their support and encouragement from graduation day and beyond! Thank you!
Greatest professional moment: My greatest professional moment is yet to come. It will be the first day that we are able to house a youth at the Twin Cities Foyer Association (TCFA).
Tell us something interesting about your life: After graduating from St. Scholastica, I volunteered at an orphanage in Mexico called "Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos" (NPH), which translates to "Our Little Brothers and Sisters." I lived there for six months and cared for 31 seventh grade girls who quickly became my family. I returned to the states to attend graduate school, but have continued to support the orphanage by volunteering at Friends of the Orphans, a fundraising office in St. Paul. I help organize fundraising events including a 5k walk/run which was held on May 2, 2010. Find more information at www.friendsoftheorphans.org.
Further education: I graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2007 with a master's degree in Social Work.
Philosophy: Reach high and prove to the world that you can do anything you want to do!
Impact of the Benedictine values: I was reminded of these values every day throughout my St. Scholastica years, but it was not until I began my career as a social worker that I truly understood how these values would play a role in the work I do.