Kemba Dunham ’90
“With hard work and focus, you can figure it out.”
“When I graduated from Columbia, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had some interests, but until that point, I hadn’t done any real career planning. Looking back, that was possibly the best scenario for me. It led me to careers that were never on my radar and stretched me in ways I never could have imagined. I lobbied for jobs that seemingly required a certain skill set I didn’t possess. Somehow, I always believed I could figure it out.
“I always had a certain level of drive and fearlessness as a child, but those traits were solidified during my years at Kent Place. When I started KPS, in ninth grade, my learning curve was steep. I struggled in almost every subject, shrugging off poor grades in math and science by saying they ‘just aren’t my thing.’ I’ll always be grateful to all my KPS teachers who didn’t accept that and pushed me to believe that I could excel in every subject. I remember my 10th-grade geometry teacher, Mrs. Kostal, startling me in the hallway after a test with news that I received the highest score in the class. She was happy for me, and, better yet, not surprised. That kind of support helped me believe that with hard work and focus, I could always ‘figure it out.’”