By Becky Jensen (’93)
Kimberly Worth (’14) understood the value of education at an early age.
She was raised by a hardworking single mom who held down three jobs to feed two kids and keep a roof over their heads. Worth remembers how much her mother sacrificed, without complaint, just to make ends meet.
“My mom never finished college, and she wanted more for us,” says Worth, who was taught that education creates opportunity. “It was always really important to her that I earn my degree.” Worth dreamed of becoming a teacher.
As a high school student, she visited Colorado State and fell in love with the campus. “It instantly felt like the right place for me.”
There was never a question about attending CSU. The bigger challenge was figuring out how to pay tuition. Undaunted, Worth earned several scholarships and secured a student loan her freshman year.
Although Worth’s heart was in teaching, her head convinced her that a business degree was a more practical and lucrative career choice. She soon immersed herself in College of Business classes, events, service clubs, and student organizations.
Worth joined the Mu Rho chapter of Delta Sigma Pi, a business fraternity dedicated to professional development and community outreach. She became active in the Business Diversity and Leadership Alliance, a group that promotes minority inclusion and works to eliminate social injustice. The busy business student was also a Resident Assistant (RA) at Allison Hall for two years and an RA for the Honors Residential Learning Community for one year.
The combined experiences left a lasting impression on Worth, reinforcing the importance of giving back and making a difference in the lives of others.
Worth excelled academically and was invited to apply for the Metro Denver Scholarship. “When you’re asked to apply for something, it makes it far more meaningful,” she reflects. “It was such an honor. I felt validated.”
Worth was awarded the Metro Denver Scholarship her junior year. “It made a huge difference financially,” she says. “The extra support let me focus on my studies, pursue internships, and grow as a student leader.”
In 2014, Worth earned a B.S. in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. She felt grateful beyond words for her degree, but something felt unfinished. Her calling to be a teacher was not going away. If anything, it was growing louder.
So Worth made a dramatic leap of faith that changed the course of her career – a leap made possible by the Metro Denver Scholarship.
“If I would have left CSU $20,000 in debt, I would not have pursued a graduate program in teaching,” she says. Thanks in part to the Metro Denver Scholarship, Worth’s student loan debt was minimal, making the decision to attend graduate school that much easier. One year later, she received her Master of Education and teaching license from CU-Denver.
Today, Worth teaches ninth-grade English at STEM School and Academy in Douglas County School District. “I love it,” she says with a satisfied smile. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher and the Metro Denver Scholarship helped me be true to my calling.”
Worth knows her business degree will always serve her well, and having a master’s degree dramatically improves her salary as a teacher.
To say Worth’s mom is proud of her daughter is an understatement. She always wanted a bright future for her daughter, and the Metro Denver Scholarship helped make that happen.
If Kimberly Worth could thank a scholarship donor, what would she say?
“You don’t know me, but you were willing to invest in my future. Thank you for believing in me and taking a risk. That’s a compliment I will always appreciate.”
She adds, “Now that I have my own job and salary, I realize that it takes real commitment and drive to set aside money to donate for a scholarship. There are hundreds of other things you can put that money toward. To put your faith in a student and CSU is really commendable, and it makes a difference.”