Kimberly, fortunately due to her Entrepreneurial Successes, still has the time to dedicate to new and emerging ventures. One such venture is the development of teaching tools in the areas of writing, math and science for Florida based Students. She has provided Standardized Testing (FCAT) Software using multi-media and gaming tools that teach concepts with audio visual components, avatars, and game simulation. These programs are designed to make learning fun and to provide impromptu quizzes that grade the student in modules that graphically show their areas of subject weakness. As well as, provides sophisticated reporting and tracking tools so that the educators are empowered to help the students return to areas of weakness and play the game of learning until they accomplish the task.
Kimberly is also, a partner and Board Member for a Private “Montessori” School for children that are considered students with learning disabilities due to hearing impairments. Due, to the cost of delivering “such specialized and credentialed” education. Donations and Scholarship Funds are always needed. This is the “only” school of its kind in the Country. Many families relocate to attend. However, it can be a strain on many families trying to do best by their children. Especially, in what may seem simple to the average family, such as, travel, siblings, tuition, and more. Due, to Education cut backs and legislative hurdles the school often is in great need to serve and accommodate the demand.
Kimberly and the During Foundation, has provided, computers, software, web sites, social media. Also, Kimberly’s During Foundation felt that the fellow Board Members, Community Philanthropist and other Foundations, if aware of the school and its hardships, would respond if someone provided a funding plan. Therefore, Kimberly and the During Foundation, has provided a Challenge Grant Program for all “matched donations” of up to $100,000. She continues to advocate, support, and work hard to educate and reach out to the community to join her and the During Foundation in the support for the Blossom Montessori School of the Deaf as their financial needs for student scholarships is very great.
Also, Kimberly is very proud to have successfully participated in a legislative change in a State Funded scholarship that subsidizes private school tuition for those meeting a certain criteria in the favor of the school’s students. The legislative change was an overall success, victory, and the change within the law and the eligibility factor will affect thousands of children that are at-risk, in need and displaced.
In addition, Kimberly works closely with the multiple School Boards, the Pinellas Education Foundation, and the Stavros Institute to take many of their current processes, curriculum, and creates advanced programs that raises the bar with the use of Innovative Cloud Based Technologies. Most importantly, by the use of this customized automated curriculum and by making smart use of Cloud Based Technology, the programs are in the Classrooms of over 500 Pinellas County Schools.
Although, the technologies are innovative and extremely advanced in their architecture and programming. This, first of its kind and “State of the Art”, technology has been a huge success and widely adopted! Kimberly, her During Foundation and K.Tek, built the various components, meticulously designed to meet the specific skill level and features that are customized to each intended user. This technology, available, anywhere and anytime, securely in the classroom and out of the classroom has raised the bar in Online Curriculum. Furthermore, takes the student, teacher’s educational processes, and even parents ability to access information is now received and experienced on an entirely new level.
Kimberly is heavily involved in an outstanding educational program called the Enterprise Village, in where, 5th grade students spend eight weeks in the classroom learning business, job skills, life and money management, and giving back to their community. Post the eight week curriculum, in where, the students apply the learning of business principals, ethics, money management, and touch upon every aspect of economics. Following that preparation and study period, they all put the learning objectives into practice and attend a “simulated economic village” in where they can put into practice the eight week curriculum by working jobs, paying living expenses, saving, giving back (philanthropy), and learning how to spend their “discretional income”. The village encompasses businesses that represent the media, banking, technology, politics, retail and more. The students have the opportunity to work for a particular business and take breaks to get their paycheck, and deal with real life situations, decisions, and choices.
The businesses do have to earn money, provide a community service, and completely simulate the reality of an economic environment and community emulating the “real world”. Kimberly and one of her businesses K.Tek Systems, Inc. is included in the simulated town, by providing a store front office, video equipment, multimedia programs, computers, custom operational programs, student technologies, approximately 8-10 key positions of employment, technologies that represent the Internet technology that can be used in business today.
Furthermore, Kimberly’s technology company (K.Tek) has supplied an entire multitude of technologies and has automated some of the former “paper based” systems into electronic systems that can be used that are current and most importantly relevant systems “in classroom” that better represents what is done in today’s world such as online newspapers that parents can access, video, social media, and career assessment tools and online job boards.
Kimberly has also provided “state of the art” touch screen activated “Kiosk” applications and more. Kimberly and her company will be very busy for the next 10 years adding new technology tools for the educators and students alike. The program, although architected, programmed, supported and funded by K.Tek. It was all in the spirit of true collaboration and team work by K.Tek, the During Foundation, the Pinellas County School Board, the Pinellas Education Foundation, and the Stavros Institute that have all come together to bring this learning experience to the students both inside and outside the classroom.
Kimberly’s vibrant nature and her dedication to efficiency and effectiveness keep her continuously involved in the greater Tampa Bay community. She works tirelessly, supporting and advising School Boards exploring new innovative models of education, consults on career centers, technology and other vocational training opportunities. Located within the schools, this yields opportunity by, giving the students the option of technical training and certifications that they may never have had the opportunity or the ability to afford these high priced training programs outside the traditional school system. They are available to all Students, for no charge, as a part of their graduation requirements and earning a diploma.
These programs enhance the local business community and enable economic development with the graduation of highly skilled workers that these programs provide certifications and licenses for in the various fields of study. This has been a joy to see the success rate, and realize the measured decrease in the former high levels of dropout rates that have plagued the educational system, prior to the initiation of this program.
Once, only a pilot program in a “Beta Test Site School”, the program’s success is now a proven system that is now giving more Schools and their Students the academic options. The Students can earn a contractor’s license, roofing, plumbing, electrical, technology certifications, and more. The former “high-risk” students now have options to dropping out of school and businesses can find trained mechanics, contractors, electricians, or other certified/licensed tradesmen.
Furthermore, Kimberly has been engaged in bringing forth the same opportunity of technical training and certifications specifically targeted to “at-risk” youth at no cost and outside of the school systems. This engagement and involvement has not only been extremely rewarding work for Kimberly but has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children that would have had no other way to have access to such training, removes them from the streets, redirects their probable path of limited options, due to their environment, and puts them on the path to success.
The program and curriculum also builds in an inherent measure of building student self-esteem, earning potential, and provides for the basis of a positive track of goals and opportunities. Moreover, the program has proven to provide for the, aforementioned, and long-term safety from an unfortunate “statistically based” inevitable path of self-destruction. And, that of a redirected path of hope and opportunity. That creates not only, self-esteem, confidence, but our community benefits greatly by graduating a group of highly technically trained and industry certified potential employees, as well.
This diversion has been a tremendous success and Kimberly is very proud to be involved and have been involved as a founding Board member at the earliest stages of this free mentoring and technical certification program and continues to support the organization in multiple ways. This program has not only changed lives but now has an alumni base that donates their time in giving back to the young students by mentoring, teaching and more. As a founding member, Kimberly, is very proud of the organization’s success, multiple accolades and awards that are all truly deserving of this outstanding Non-Profit.