At just 17 years old, a Great Falls teen is celebrating an impressive feat—the completion of her doctoral studies in Business Administration.
Kimberly presented her dissertation defense to a virtual academic panel on March 18, stepping away with a Doctorate in Business Administration with an emphasis in Global Leadership from California Intercontinental University.
"Whether it was lemonade stands or selling popcorn for fundraisers, Kimberly always had a good business sense," mom Adria Strable told The Epoch Times via email. "She has an indomitable spirit and it shows in all she does."
For much of her doctoral studies, said Adria, Kimberly also worked paid jobs, volunteered at church, and "gleaned from other adventures" such as traveling internationally with the Junior Peace Corps.
"We Strables are high performers by nature," Adria reflected, "and Kimberly embodies that work ethic, 'Whatever your hand finds to do, work at it with all your might as working for the Lord.'"
Adria and her husband of 22 years, Greg, have homeschooled all five of their children, devising a rich program of education including numerous field trips and hands-on projects. They also fostered children for five years and ministered over 30 kids.
"When a friend encouraged me to homeschool when my oldest was just 3, I found an amazing mentor and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey," Adria explained. "Thankfully, my husband works from home and I only worked occasionally as a nurse over the years, so we could nurture our children's education.
"I was so blessed to be the one to not only watch them take their first steps, but to read their first words, recite their first poem, and review their math facts," Adria added. "It was fun and even gave me an opportunity to redeem my own education in many ways as we dug into classical education."
"We don't push the kids, we encourage the kids," Greg continued. "If they're feeling ready, then we're ready to explore that with them."
The encouragement of these supportive parents has surely paid off. Samantha, now 20, graduated with a master's degree in Wildlife Biology at the age of 18. Kimberly anticipates that her three younger siblings—Courtney, 12; Maverick, 10; Sapphire, 8—will also pursue degrees at a young age.
As for what the future holds, Kimberly claims she is now "working on some legal battles" surrounding discrimination she has encountered because of her age. However, thinking further ahead, she plans to pursue a career in executive management, encouraging other young students to reach for the stars as she did.
"Passion and dedication is going to get you so far," she said.