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Kayte, 35 – FUNDED

Around the world, many women and girls do not have access to higher education. 1,000 Dreams Fund Spring 2018 Scholarship recipient and PhD candidate, Kayte Thomas wants to change that. A student at Baylor University, the 35-year-old is using her funding to pay for her education in social work, in which she studies how gender-based biases affect women, particularly refugee women. She is driven by her dream to lead the next generation of change-making social workers.

What is your professional dream?

My professional dream is to work toward addressing disparities that impact women, particularly mothers. My dissertation is focused on issues pertaining to refugee women. In the future, I hope to research gender-based human rights violations faced by women and children in the family court system. I’m also excited about the prospect of teaching at the collegiate level. I would love to inspire a new generation of social workers to become change-makers in the world!

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship?

This scholarship will help pay for my tuition this semester.

How is this helping you get closer to your dream?

The funds from the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship are reducing the amount of student loans I have to take out to cover costs, which effectively lowers the financial burden my family will face after I finish my degree. The scholarship also allows me to spend more time focusing on my studies instead of worrying about how to pay for tuition. I am very grateful for this scholarship!

​What advice do you have for other young women looking to go for their dreams?

The glass ceiling is a real thing. Shatter it!

​Any setbacks? How did you get around them?

There have been several setbacks throughout the course of my academic career but I tend to look for the lessons in each experience and build upon them for personal growth. I would not be on this path without the difficulties I have faced. I try to remind myself that every challenge ultimately has a greater purpose.

What’s next for you? What is your next goal?

I’m focused on obtaining my PhD, but that’s still a few years away. This year, I’m planning to to obtain a clinical supervision certificate so I can provide supervision to newly licensed social workers. I was fortunate to have a wonderful supervisor who gave me a solid foundation of clinical skills, and I hope to be able to give helpful guidance to others as well.