This is the fourth in our new series of “Take 5″ interviews designed to introduce you to the members of the Board of Directors of the Albion HS Alumni Foundation. We will highlight one board member at a time until we have introduced you to all of our members. This post will highlight Kim (Wright) Pritt.
Today we “Take 5″ with Kim (Wright) Pritt
AHS Alumni Foundation Board Member
Kim (left) and her mother, Marilyn (Freeman) Wright (class of ’54)
Kim (Wright) Pritt graduated from Albion HS with the class of 1974. After high school, Kim worked at GE in Brockport. NY before moving to Sanford, NC in June of 1985. Kim is currently enjoying retirement after working for 23+ years in the Pharmaceutical industry, finishing her career as the Associate Director of Training for Pfizer’s Sanford, NC facility. Kim attended college while in NC and holds a Master’s of Science degree in Administration from Central Michigan University’s satellite campus at Fort Bragg, NC, a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from North Carolina Wesleyan College, and an Associates of Applied Science degree in Industrial Management from Central Carolina Community College in Sanford, NC.
Kim retired in November 2011 and returned home to good ole Albion where she purchased a home in the Village to be near her Mom and brother, Kevin (class of ’76). She has two dogs, Megan and Amy – both 8-year-old Terrier-mix breeds she rescued from bad situations and gave a home where they are loved, pampered, and spoiled rotten. Kim enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dogs and her hobbies include reading, going on adventures, and going to the movies. She is an avid blogger, writing about her thoughts, adventures, and movie reviews on her personal blog at http://thoughtsbykim.com. She is an active member of the Albion First United Methodist Church and enjoys finding ways to give back to her community.
And, now for our interview:
1. When did you join the board of directors and what is your role?
I started volunteering with the Foundation in 2013 and was elected to the Board of Directors in January 2014. I joined the Visibility Team and the Leadership Team. Because of my love of blogging and writing, I started the Alumni Foundation Blog in April 2014 and have promoted the Foundation and various alumni through regular posts.
2. What sparked your interest in being a part of this board and what do you like most about what the Foundation does and your involvement in it?
I have always had a passion for organizations that help our youth succeed in school and pursue higher education. I think that at least finishing high school to obtain a good, solid education is critical. I worked for several years with a non-profit organization in NC that was devoted to keeping kids in school and dropout prevention. When I moved back home in 2011, I hoped to find an organization that had a similar focus so that I could continue to support the education of young minds. I found the Foundation’s mission to provide scholarships to graduating seniors an interesting way to focus my passion for education. Then, while serving as a volunteer with the Board, I became very excited about the ideas discussed about expanding the Foundation’s scope to increase efforts in areas of mentoring and tapping into our alumni resources to provide positive role models and support for students at all levels. I decided I wanted to be a part of an organization that works so hard to ensure valuable scholarships are available to our graduating seniors and is interested in providing resources to students and alumni. I am very proud of the work we do and am excited for where the organization is headed.
3. Tell us about your experience at Albion HS and how your experiences influenced you either in school or in your life after school.
I loved my time in Albion High School – in fact, all my years in Albion schools. I particularly was appreciative of the short time I spent in Waterport school in the fifth and sixth grades – it was a wonderful experience to go to a smaller country school, like Waterport. I had several amazing role models in high school that taught me life lessons that I still hold dear to this day. Mrs. Donna Rodden was a strong mentor for me, right from an early age in Girl Scouts through to high school, Drama Club, and volunteer opportunities – I remember her telling me many times that I can be and do anything I put my mind to and that I shouldn’t allow anyone to put any limitations on me or my aspirations. Because of her, I have always been ambitious, worked hard to achieve my goals, and found great joy in giving back to my community. I was particularly fond of Mrs. Taillie – she fueled my love of English and creative writing and encouraged me to continue to find ways to use writing as a creative outlet – because of her, I still love writing and through that love found my way to blogging. Mr. Chamberlain made me fall in love with Science – even though I didn’t pursue science directly in my formal studies during high school, I always remembered how fun he made it as I built on the knowledge of the fundamentals that he taught me later in my career in Pharmaceuticals – I’d often find myself thinking of him as I prepared media or inoculated slants and plates for a fermentation batch. I really believe I would likely not have had the passion I did for the career I ended up in if it hadn’t been for the fire Mr. Chamberlain lit within me. These are just the tip of the iceberg. There were so many wonderful, caring teachers that touched my life and added to the foundation that made me the woman I am today. And the mention of the wonderful teachers is just a portion of the great experiences I had in high school – from Drama Club, Signor Prize, the Senior Play – and the friends I made that are still friends, today! I am a proud Purple Eagle!
But, I can’t limit my life influences just to my school experiences – I had a strong independent mother who taught me to be a strong independent woman. She was a constant, real-life role model who showed me by example how to put all the advice and encouragement together to build my character. I was also blessed to work under strong women managers who mentored me throughout my career.
4. What motivated you to go into the career you chose and what led you to your higher education choices?
This is a tough question, actually. I planned to be an English teacher and pursue a professional career in writing and acting. My dream was to teach to support my struggling actor/writer years until I hit it big by writing and staring in a hit Broadway play. College right out of high school was not in the cards for me and I had the good sense to know that parts of my dream were not realistic goals for my situation. So, I went to work at General Electric, figuring I’d do college later. “Later” came after I was married, moved to NC, and began working at a small biological company. I discovered that I loved my job and wanted to go as far as I could go – to get there, my bosses encouraged me to go back to school, so I did! I enrolled in the local community college, did very well, and found myself craving more. So, after I graduated, I enrolled in another college and earned my Bachelor’s degree, but knew I wasn’t done, yet. I went on to work on my Masters. This opened many doors in my career and I continued to meet every goal I set for myself. I also found that it allowed me to come full circle to my original goal – not in the same way I envisioned it at the time, but it worked for me and brought me great satisfaction. I was able to be a writer and a teacher in my roles in materials management and quality – I wrote policies, procedures, training materials, and investigations and I held positions as a trainer, including Associate Director of Training and Site Training Lead for the network. I may have taken a few detours along the way, but the motivation and advice I received from everyone along the way helped me get back on track. My thirst for knowledge and seeing how achieving my educational goals benefitted my career is the basis for my understanding of the importance of a strong, solid educational foundation for our students and my desire to work with organizations that have missions that support their educational goals.
5. What advice / words of wisdom do you have for our current students and recent graduates?
The main advice I have for those entering the workforce and/or college is to listen to and follow your heart. You’ve got to love what you do and find a way to utilize your natural talents in your career choices. You will only be successful if you’re doing something you believe in and enjoy doing – no matter what that is – remember, not everyone is cut out to be a rocket scientist, but everyone does have what it takes to be successful in a career they can be proud of. While it is important to understand that sometimes it is necessary to do things you aren’t exactly thrilled with on your way to your goals, just remember that if you listen to your heart, set realistically achievable goals, keep your eye on those goals, and surround yourself with people who will encourage you to be the best you can be, then you will succeed!
Watch in the coming weeks for more from our board members – the next featured member will be Angela (Bevilacqua) Atwell.
Posted by Kim Wright Pritt