Kim’s work began in 2010 when she and co-founder, Christine Mills, partnered with Come Back Mission to create a holistic women’s empowerment center in Johannesburg, South Africa. The experience inspired them to create a program for women back in the US, specifically in Kim’s home state of Arkansas, applying the same principles of addressing the whole woman utilizing an empowerment model. Their research assessing the needs of Little Rock was completed by 2012 giving them the full-scope of the challenges that marginalized women face in the community.
When they founded Hope Rises in 2013, there was little to no interest in the challenges that women face when exiting prison. Today, their mission receives broad support from the community and the local and state government. Under Kim’s leadership, Hope Rises has grown from classes and case-management to the state’s first gender-responsive reentry program for women. This program includes a holistic residential Reentry Facility in downtown Little Rock and a comprehensive pre-release program for women in Wrightsville prison.
Kim holds a Master of Public Health from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of West Florida.