The UA Fort Smith Alumni Association will feature young alumni and what their life after graduation has been like. If you would like to be featured, please e-mail

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jessica Kursh '09

“Third Time’s a Charm”

When I decided to go back to college in the fall of 2005 I was very nervous and felt a bit intimidated. I had been a teen mom, was a single mother of three small children, and had dropped out of college twice before. Despite my apprehensions I was determined not to allow any statistics to determine my potential for success in life. Ultimately, it was my non-traditional student status that really helped me to remain focused on achieving my goals that third time around because I was always fully aware of what I had at stake. In the end my commitment to success paid off and in the spring of 2009 I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. As overjoyed as I was about finally beating the odds, graduating from college was only the beginning of the next step of my fun-filled journey.
My mother, daughter, and me at my UAFS graduation ceremony May 9, 2009

In the fall of 2009 I began furthering my education towards my true calling in life: Counseling. I entered into John Brown University’s graduate program and started pursuing dual Master of Science degrees in Community Counseling & Marriage and Family Therapy. Life at JBU has been an awesome experience for me thus far. I feel very proud to say that my undergraduate education at UAFS thoroughly prepared me for my transition into graduate school. I am currently maintaining a 4.0 cumulative G.PA. Recently, I was very excited to learn that I had been cleared to move forward in my counseling program into my first Practicum section. In the spring of 2011 I will start seeing individuals, couples, and families at the JBU Fort Smith Care Clinic. I am scheduled to graduate from JBU in the spring of 2012. After graduation I plan to sit for the national and state counseling board exams so that I can become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).

My family has always been one of my biggest support systems and on December 5, 2009 me and my boyfriend, Julian, got engaged. We plan to get married on July 21, 2012.
My family’s 2009 Happy Holiday’s portrait

During my senior year at UAFS I had the incredible opportunity to become a charter member of the Upsilon Kappa Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. After graduating from UAFS I joined the Fort Smith Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Becoming a member of Delta Sigma Theta has truly been a remarkable gift for me because it has taught me so much about responsible leadership, the importance of higher education, sisterhood, diversity, and giving back to my community.
Me and my Upsilon Kappa Sorors at the Southwest Regional Conference in Fort Worth, TX

Upsilon Kappa & Fort Smith Alumnae chapters of Delta Sigma Theta worshiping together

During my leisure time I enjoy traveling, photography, shopping, sightseeing, and trying new foods. This past March my fiancé’ received a big job promotion and relocated to Memphis, TN. Me and my children travel to Memphis often to visit him and it gives me the opportunity to combine all five of my favorite hobbies.
My family’s 2010 summer trip to the Memphis Zoo

I feel very proud to see how much I have accomplished over the last 5 years. Sometimes I think about how differently my life could have been if I had never taken the first steps towards going back to college that third time. I look forward to achieving many more of my dreams and also helping others to achieve theirs.

1 comment:

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