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BC Alumna Gives Great Guidance During Dinner

Former Berea College student Kiki Ramsey returned on March 5 to motivate the daring women of her Alma Mater to stay persistent in their pursuit of success.

Berea Alumna Ms. Kiki Ramsey

March 5- The Black Cultural Center kicked off Women's History Month with a dinner honoring one of Berea's own daring and determined graduates. Kiki Ramsey, a former non-traditional student at Berea, shared her tale of hardship, struggle and endurance to illustrate to young women the importance of persistence in the pursuit of their goals. Ramsey, who graduated from Berea in 2002, used this dinner as a forum to inspire Berea's young women to remain persistent in the pursuit of their academic goals. Using her triumph to inspire others to overcome their own obstacles, Ramsey also provided these women motivational tips to overcome their own challenges tips so they would be able to show the world how smart, strong, savvy, powerful they all could be. Ramsey’s story illustrated the importance of persistence in the face of adversity in order to overcome "victimhood" and to achieve what one works toward. Because she understood the importance of providing leadership and giving young women a measurable model for success, Kiki Ramsey has “dedicated her life to giving people the motivation and inspiration to go after their dreams”.

Ramsey, who grew up in a household haunted by the ills of poverty, violence and drug addiction, emerged from a life as an angry out of control teenager, to a dedicated scholar. Instead of choosing to “remain a statistic”, Ramsey faced the unforeseen challenges of becoming a teenage parent. She went on to finished high school before she made the choice to further her education. By working her way through community college, she was able to bring her grades up to meet the rigorous academic standards of Berea College and attended the school as a non-traditional student with her son. As she battled to manage her time, course load and the demands of juggling her home and academic life; there were times when she often felt like giving up. But Kiki’s mother reminded her of how much she had already overcome. Ramsey remembered the promise that she had made to herself to become successful and chose to remember not be a victim of her circumstances. Ramsey instead chose to alter her perception of her situation and see these circumstances as challenges to be overcome and endured. She worked very diligently and used the lessons that she learned here at Berea in order to succeed.

“I chose not to be a victim of my circumstances and this is the first key to becoming a remarkable leader; a woman who takes charge of her life, a woman of valor. I chose to be victorious, and not a victim. Because ladies, sometimes when the going gets tough, and sometimes it will, you only have two choices; one is to be victorious, and one is to be a victim.”

In 2002, Kiki Ramsey walked across the stage at Berea College and received her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies. After her acceptance to graduate school, which she accredits to the help of Professors like Andrew Baskin, Ramsey moved on to the University of Georgia to get her masters in Social Work, which she completed in 2004. Kiki Ramsey has gone on to act as the director of a teen moms program, a child welfare social worker, a therapist and a motivational speaker. Through her efforts Ramsey has been able to provide many medical and therapeutic services to help build the self-esteem and daily functioning of many recovering addicts and impoverished women and children.

The dinner, elegantly presented with an Asian style buffet and festive, lively center- pieces, was designed to be as inspiring as Ms. Ramsey’s message. The tables, draped with crisp white linens, and marked with Chinese scripted placards that read “courage” was arranged neatly around each individual place setting, next to the fortune cookies and chopsticks. Scented oil diffusers were adorned with beautiful floral arrangements and students were encouraged to take these items upon their departure as parting gifts in order to remind and inspire them to persevere against the odds. But the women who attended this function could agree that these small tokens were not the only thing these enterprising young women took away.

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