Kimberly Hughes…YOU INSPIRE ME! Kim’s intellect, tenacity, and strength of character inspire me. It is rare to meet someone who attacks life with such a high level of focus and passion. She is open and adventurous, and on a constant quest for the next greatest learning opportunity. What impresses me most is her ability to face every challenge and adversity head on with a smile on her face.
When I met Kim she was in the midst of a poorly matched host family exchange program, which was quickly followed by an equally challenging experience the following year. And despite the back to back cross-cultural experiences that did not deliver, Kim has maintained a passion for travel and intercultural learning. After High School, Kim spent a year in Thailand teaching English in the remote village of Ban Khai in the Rayong province. Since starting her Political Science degree at UBC (University of British Columbia) she’s completed an academic exchange at L’Institut d’études politiques (IEP) de Paris (aka Sciences Po)in Paris, France. Today Kim is on an International Service Learning (ISL) project in Kampala, Uganda for 3 months, working for The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO), evaluating the training practices of Peer Counselors who live within the most-at-risk populations in Uganda.
I am always excited to hear about her next great adventure, and fully expect to see her make great contributions to her community, country, and the world.
When I asked Kim if she had advice or something to share to inspire your generation, she said:
Don’t underestimate the interconnectedness of our world! You never know who is – or will be – connected to whom. Keep in meaningful contact with your previous teachers, mentors and employers – these are extremely valuable people in your life. Ask them for advice and keep them updated on what you are doing. Do not burn bridges.
I’m always amazed at how easy it is to make someone’s day with a simple act of compassion, acknowledgement, or love… As individuals, we are all more powerful than we realize. Once we recognize this power, we can use it to make this world a better place, and this starts with small actions – a smile, a hello, an acknowledgment.