Kimberly Hart spent about 1 year in South Carolina's Foster Care System.

Kimberly (“Kim”) Hart was one and a half when she and her twin sister were adopted by their foster parents. Now, 20 years later, she is a student at Coastal Carolina University pursuing a degree in Business Management and eventually her MBA. After she graduates, Kim hopes to work within the education system, possibly as a basketball coach, and be able to help other youth successfully transition into college and adulthood. Kim wants to communicate to other foster youth that it doesn't matter where one comes from; everyone has a chance to do something positive with their life. Kim volunteered for two years as a Peer Leader and Mentor through the Office of Multicultural Student Services at her school and is now volunteering as a mentor for the Dalton & Floyd Mentoring Program. As a mentor, she visits her 14-year old mentee once a week and guides her to make decisions beneficial to her future. Kim is also a member of Leadership Challenge (a Coastal Carolina University Initiative), Coastal Carolina's Youth and College Division of NAACP, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, which participates in community service projects both on and off campus. As a member of Leadership Challenge, Kim encourages students of color to work hard and get connected to the University, which normally yields satisfied students who become successful graduates. In her role with Students Navigating and Advising peers, she participates in team-teaching with a First-Year Experience Instructor while helping freshman smoothly adjust to college life. Living in foster care wasn’t always easy for Kim. “One of the most difficult parts for me was coping with who I am,” Kim says. Since she was adopted as a toddler, she didn't know she was a foster child until her adopted-mother told her. Needless to say, Kim had a lot of questions. Despite the challenges, Kim is grateful that she was put in foster care and eventually adopted. She believes being a foster child has made her a stronger person. “Everything happens for a reason. I can now use my experiences to be an influence on other youth as they grow and mature into adults. Besides,” Kim says, “I can't imagine my life without the people who are in it now.”

Team(s) or Cohort(s)
2011 Outstanding Young Leaders