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Individual Success Story


In the flash of a moment, Kimberly’s life changed: a critical accident involving her two children upended the familiar, leaving her lost. With Fresh Start’s support, however, she would regain her footing, find community, gain confidence, and eventually return to school to continue her education.

Kimberly* grew up in Arizona, attended Arizona State University, and relocated to Washington with her husband and three kids. There, she worked in a number of community non-profit organizations. Then, one day, her life completely changed.

She received a call that her two eldest, teenage children were in a severe auto accident and were being transported via air-evac to the hospital.  Both were in ICU with severe traumatic brain injuries and their survival was questionable.  For the next two years, Kimberly and her husband juggled their 3 year-old son, worked and went back and forth to rehab facilities for both teenagers.  Luckily, one of her children began to improve, but her daughter would unfortunately need care for the rest of her life.

Kimberly and her husband decided to move back to Arizona where they would have more family support, but even with the extra help, Kimberly found herself very lost.  She had gone from being an executive director to full-time caretaker. 

At her lowest point, her sister-in-law convinced her to go with her to Fresh Start’s “Back to School” event, where women learned about going back to school for advance degrees or career changes. 

It was a defining moment in Kimberly’s life. She attended the class with many different women, some needing a high school diploma and one that already had a PhD.  She was not only motivated by the class and instructors, but was motivated further because she won a $500 scholarship through the event which she used to enroll at Estrella Mountain Community College.

Kimberly went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies (health administration & organizational leadership) and a master’s degree in non-profit studies. She says she is forever grateful for the inspiration and boost in confidence she received from Fresh Start, empowering her to forge a new course in life.