Family can make all the difference. From support when times are tough, to laughter and jokes, to memories of years past, those closest to us affect our lives in numerous ways.
For University of Houston-Victoria graduate student Dolores Kimball, those family ties encouraged her to reach for her goals and continue her education.
The academic bug first bit in 2004. At the time, Kimball’s husband, Chuck, was on the road to a master’s degree, while her daughter, Ashley, also attended college.
“I realized then that I wanted that for myself, too,” said the mother of two. “I wanted to go back to school.”
At age 45, the Kerrville native signed up for a full schedule of night courses at Schreiner University, in addition to her full-time job. While it meant long hours and often little sleep, she continued pushing forward.
“I’ve always been somewhat of an overachiever,” she said with a laugh. “And it was something I wanted to do.”
She graduated summa cum laude in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in English – the perfect major for Kimball, an avid reader. But it didn’t end there.
When she and her husband relocated to El Campo, she decided it was time to continue toward her goal of teaching at the college level. She enrolled in the UHV Master of Education in curriculum and instruction. The online courses were partly what drew her to UHV.
“I thought it would work well with my schedule,” she said.
Today, she’s learning to balance time between a brand-new course load and a full-time job at the UHV Small Business Development Center, where she works as the senior secretary. Kimball plans to begin slowly, taking classes part time, until she better understands the work involved. Next semester, however, she hopes to ramp up to full time.
She’s currently working to obtain her teacher certification, with an emphasis on literacy.
All in all, she’s excited to begin the next phase of her life. She advised others looking to expand their educations to take the leap.
“You can consider it all you want, but what counts is taking that first step,” 52-year-old Kimball said. “From there, everything will fall into place.”
The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.