By Minette Perigard
When life gives you lemons, you do not have to make lemonade. There are many different recipes out there that might suite you better. In other words, your life is not what has happened to you, but what you make of it.
Kimberly Jones, a law graduate and instructor at Washtenaw Community College, is an example of where perseverance and determination can get you in this lemon filled world.
Jones Started working at Washtenaw Community College in 2002, with her PHD in Higher Education in hand, she took on the world of teaching, but her love for law lingered.
“She is brilliant,” co worker Jamie Fulcher said. Fulcher works with Jones at the WCC writing center. “It is always interesting working with her, she is so full of life,” Fulcher said.
Jones remember having an LSAT (Law School Admission Test) book lingering in her closet for at least three years were she would pick it up and look through it every so often while she finished her PHD.
After graduating, Jones still found she had a lingering passion for law, so she decided to take a law class at WCC and that is when she fell in love with law.
Jones had a passion to learn more. Her professor and current chair of the criminal justice department, Ruth Walsh, thought Jones would be a good lawyer and suggested that she think about furthering her education in that field.
Jones studied for the LSAT, applied for law school and started at Coolie Law school in Ann arbor that fall. Continuing to work at WCC, going to school and being a single mom of three was not an easy task.
Law school is not for the faint at heart.
“You’ve seen ‘Legally Blonde,’ law school is just like that,” Jones said.
“They put you on the spot, you don’t know the answer they kick you out, sometimes they send you to the dean because you are not prepared, you miss two classes they kick you out of class, it’s like no joke” Jones recalled. “It was one of the hardest thing I ever did, but the most rewarding besides being a mom”
Jones compared going to law school to being a mom, saying that it was challenging but rewarding, that the benefits outweighed the drawbacks. “I challenged myself, had different experiences and as a result I really value my mind” Jones said.
Jones started studying law in 2011 and within four years Jones had her law degree.
Sacrificing financially, moving to a more affordable place and eating on the go, Jones did what she could to follow her dreams. Her kids were very supportive and found that sometimes it’s okay if you were not a “girl scout cookie mom.”
Her example as a hard working woman devoted to her family, work and following her dreams is something many children will never witness in their own home and in her family it has helped her children to take charge of their desires and dreams.
Many saw this election as one of the most unpredictable, to many the results were very shocking but exciting and to others it was very disappointing.
“I knew my guy wasn’t going to win” she chuckled referring to Gary Johnson. Jones continued to say that she felt Obama won both elections because people like passion and Obama had it, but this election the people were not that inspired.
As a lawyer, Jones says she is not worried due to the split in political power, there is always a battle with congress and suppertime court, so she does not expect Immediate change because the new president-elect can only do so much.
“I trust in our constitution, I believe in it,” Jones said, “I think some wacky things will probably happen, but the system says that we can correct those wacky things.” People are looking to have change, and would choose that above anything else. Jones continued to say that for those in the field of law, it is going to be an exciting time.
“Immigration needs a complete overhaul,” Jones said, referring to policies being nonsensical. There is much that might happen in the next four years, America will have to wait and see.
Jones also plans to open a non profit law firm focusing on community legal education. Going out and educating regular people on what the law is all about. From traffic stops to child custody, she plans on covering it all and helping them understand their rights and responsibility. Jones is applying for judicial clerkship with the Michigan Supreme Court.
Jones plans to keep teaching at Washtenaw Community College.
“Although she was a tough grader, she was strong in what she said and was confident in what she did,” Kirstin Cunningham, who had Jones as her teacher for English 226 last winter, said.
Jones may be a tough grader but she is passionate and is also willing to do what it takes to help you succeed in her class, if you only ask.
Looking at where Jones is now it is easy to see that when life gave her lemons, she did a whole lot of cooking and spiced up her life with them along the way to success.
There seems to be nothing able to keep her down. She is a beautiful example of what you can do with your life if you decide to: take a chance, steer your own path, make your own recipe and follow your dreams.