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Alumni Success

A Counselor of Broken Lives and Broken Hearts

Meet Kimberly Cole, a 44-year old clinical psychology doctoral student at Argosy University, Seattle. This grandmother of three grandchildren is devoted to her family and her studies, but she possesses another dedication that reaches past her front door. For over a decade, Cole has opened her home and her heart to help troubled teenagers. And now, she is determined to extend her helping hand to sexually abused and battered women living in rural communities that often do not have the resources for those in need.

Cole's interest in serving the public began in 1990 when she entered a law enforcement program through the College of Southern Idaho. For the next two and a half years, she served as a law enforcement officer in Filer, located in southern Idaho.

Her dedication to help those in terrible familial situations expanded greatly when she adopted a teenager who came from a challenging family background and had difficulty understanding her identity. Also, beginning in 1995, Cole and her husband opened their home to other teenagers, helping them finish high school and giving them the love and emotional support the teens lacked in their first homes.

"During my tenure as a law enforcement officer, I became interested in the field of psychology," said Cole. "I intended to specialize in women's issues, including domestic violence, rape/sexual assault, and gay/lesbian issues concerning teens." To accomplish this, in 1999 Cole enrolled at the University of Idaho to complete a bachelor's degree in psychology, which she received with honors in 2001.

"I am the first in my family to get this far educationally, and this has given my children and grandchildren a different perspective of how important higher education can be," says Cole. "The set-up of the program I am enrolled in at Argosy University/Seattle engages students from different backgrounds and empowers them to succeed."

Later that year, Cole and her family moved to the Seattle area so she could enroll in Argosy University, Seattle's doctorate program in Clinical Psychology. One reason for choosing Argosy University, Seattle, according to Cole, was the proximity to family members in Idaho. Another reason was that Argosy University/Seattle is a school which fosters continued professional development via its practitioner/scholar model.

"During my search for professional schools, it was a goal of mine to find faculty with interests related to women and trauma similar to my own emerging interests," explains Cole, citing Dr. Laura Brown, professor of psychology, as a major influence in her academic pursuits. "The school's programs also allow for studies that are better suited to my goals of returning to a rural community and serving the needs of the community."

After graduating from Argosy University/Seattle, Cole intends to relocate to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho and begin to create a network with physicians, clergy, police departments, attorneys, and the Coeur D'Alene Women's Center. Ultimately, she would like to design and implement along-term housing project with the women's center to provide long-term housing for abused women and assist them with gaining the skills necessary for establishing autonomy.

"The main reason for this goal is assisting women with empowerment to realize that they are an equal member in society and should be treated accordingly," explains Cole. And thanks in part to her Argosy University, Seattle education, she will be able to assist abused women with empowerment, so they will begin to make changes in their lives through their own self-actualization process.

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