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Driven By Ambition, Graduate Completes Next Leg In Her Journey Of Becoming A Teacher

May 12, 1999 -- Many people have the drive to succeed, but for Kimberly Elizabeth McKinney, the drive to earn a University of Virginia degree has often meant a daily 150-mile trip and four-hour commute from her Fauquier County home.

In addition to being a full-time U.Va. student, McKinney, 33, has been a full-time wife and mother to three children with their own jumble of academic, athletic and work schedules. Family members gave McKinney their full support, and on May 23 she'll earn a B.A. in psychology.

McKinney stayed at home with the children while they were young, but when they entered grade school, she began working full-time as a bookkeeper. After deciding to become a teacher, McKinney, with encouragement from her family, enrolled as a full-time student at Lord Fairfax Community College.

While at Lord Fairfax, she was elected Outstanding Graduate in recognition of her 4.0 GPA and her efforts to rekindle the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at the college. She was also chosen to represent the college's Fauquier campus on the All-Virginia Academic Team, which won a medal during the state competition. After earning her associate's degree, McKinney applied to U.Va. and was accepted as a third-year transfer student.

McKinney wrestled with the logistics of continuing her education at U.Va. She didn't feel she could ask her family to relocate because she didn't want to uproot the children from their schools or disrupt her husband's new business.

McKinney has encountered no roadblocks in her drive toward a U.Va. degree. "I've learned that there are a lot of good people who care and support you, and I've learned that when you make a decision to do something, it can happen."

For more information, contact Kimberly McKinney through May 21 at (540) 364-4111 or kem8b@virginia.edu.

Contact: Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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