Friendship Village Resident Celebrates First Child Attending CollegePosted on Aug 15th, 2011
Virginia Beach, Va. – This fall, Kimberly Thourogood will celebrate an important milestone in any parent's life - her son will leave to attend college this fall. What makes this even sweeter for the single mother of six is that this is her first child to attend college.
Thourogood is a resident of Friendship Village, a Community Housing Partners (CHP) community in Virginia Beach. Tonya Howard, CHP Resident Services Coordinator, says Thourogood is a role model to the rest of the community.
“Like a lot of single mothers, Kimberly faces obstacles and challenges every day, but she has been able to raise some awesome kids,” Howard said. “Her three daughters are adored throughout the neighborhood and are always contributing to the community center. And her oldest son, LaFonte, is an example of academic excellence and leadership.”
LaFonte received a scholarship for both academics and football to Vanderbilt University, which was ranked this year by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top twenty universities in the nation. He recently began his freshman year and plans to use this opportunity to become an architect. While everyone in the community is proud of LaFonte, no one is more excited than his mother.
“I have enjoyed all the little preparations that need to be made, and I’m thrilled that LaFonte will get to learn in an entirely new environment,” Thourogood said.
The Thourogood family’s achievements are a reflection of upbringing, thanks to Kimberly’s strong emphasis on responsibility and the importance of education.
“Success is going beyond expectations that you want of your own life,” Thourogood explains. “Education is everything, and you can’t make it very far without reading. Books have different worlds, and everyone should explore the words of spirituality, love, and scares through books.”
Thourogood says the key is showing her children that she herself values education. She holds family reading time, so that her children can physically see her reading. And her passion for learning has pushed her to pay her own way through school to become a nurse’s assistant and take computer classes, something she might not have been able to do if she had to pay more for housing in another community.
Thourogood attributes her ability to invest in her own education, as well as her childrens’, to the affordability of Friendship Village. “Living at Friendship also taught me how to maintain my finances and live within my means," added Thourgood.
But Thourogood’s lessons on life don’t stop with her own children. She tries to pass on her wisdom to all the children at Friendship Village.
“All children need more role models who teach them to get back up and start over again,” she said. “My biggest role model was my mother, who also put herself through school while raising her children. I hope my children look up to me the same way that I looked up to her.”
Thourogood has definitely earned the respect of everyone in the neighborhood, including CHP employees.
Said CHP Regional Property Manager, Nona Hipp, “In the eight years the Thourogoods have lived at Friendship Village, they have been model residents and an inspiration to others living in the community. Kimberly and her six children really are amazing, and I'm not surprised at all that LaFonte has already had so much success in his relatively young life. Always polite and determined to do well, he has proven that a commitment to learning and hard work really can help you achieve your dreams."
“The Thourogood family is a wonderful asset to the Friendship Village community,” Howard said. “We’re not only proud to know Kimberly, but the community is also better off knowing her.”