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#FerrisSocial Conversation: Kia Hunter

Kia HunterKia Hunter hails from Detroit. She graduated from Cass Technical High School in 2001. After graduation from high school, she chose to attend Ferris State University. Hunter earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a minor in Human Resource Management, in 2007. She next earned a Master of Science in Career and Technical Education, in 2010.  Hunter is currently the GEAR UP Coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Student Services. She remains involved with many committees and organizations that she was involved in during her undergraduate studies.

Hunter recently spoke with News Services about her experience at Ferris and the advice that she gives to students.

News Services: What attracted you to your job at Ferris?

Kia Hunter: I had a desire to work with students. I wanted to afford someone the opportunity to know that college is a dream that can come true with the proper knowledge and support.

NS: What is GEAR UP?

KH: GEAR UP is a pre-college program which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. Its focus is to provide an opportunity for underrepresented students to discover, first-hand, the potential of a college education and to expose students to the information, knowledge and skills they need to complete high school and prepare themselves adequately for college entry and success.

NS: What do you do as the GEAR UP Coordinator?

KH: I do academic enrichment and college preparatory programming for approximately 850 students in five surrounding school districts, including: Baldwin, Big Rapids, Morley Stanwood, Muskegon and Muskegon Heights.

NS: What about your job makes you smile?

KH: Being able to help a student realize their potential. To see the “ah-ha” moment when the imaginary light bulb shines on the student. Lastly, to see one of my students walk across the stage on graduation day who thought they could never make it to that point.

NS: What is it like helping students to be successful?

KH: It’s an indescribable feeling. It’s the most rewarding part of my job. I feel it’s necessary for students to know they have someone who is their “cheerleader”; someone who will do all they can to make sure they succeed and I’m happy to be that person.

NS: What advice do you most often give to students you encounter?

KH: Never give up. No matter if things seem hopeless – and even if everyone around you tells you it’s impossible – make a way out of no way.

This question-and-answer interview was compiled by Amy Hughes, a News Services and Social Media student writer in University Advancement and Marketing.