Fortunate to help the less-fortunate
May 04, 2012
LaCresia King ’12 is graduating with a double major in social work and sociology, but completing college was never something this St. Paul native pictured herself doing.
Born and raised in a low-income, government-assisted family, King hadn’t really considered college to be in her future. She assumed she’d follow the same lifestyle as many in her family: maybe graduate from high school (maybe not), have a baby early in life, and utilize government assistance to get by.
In high school, King was noticed by a Concordia admissions representative who introduced her to the college and convinced her to visit campus. The school – and Moorhead, Minn. in general – was completely unlike her home.
“I fell in love with it because it was so different,” she says.
Four years later, King has made some great friends and built wonderful connections with faculty, but is still struggling to find her identity. It was one of her professors who convinced her to embrace her past because it is what shaped who she is.
“I don’t need to be ashamed of where I came from,” she says. “I value those experiences more.”
King is the first member of her family to graduate from high school and the first to go to college. As monumental as this experience is for her, she knows that it is also very important to her family – specifically her younger siblings.
“This generational cycle of poverty doesn’t need to continue forever,” she says.
Dr. Andrew Lindner has known King since the beginning of her Concordia experience. He has always been impressed by her positive attitude and eagerness to learn more.
“One of the marked characteristics of LaCresia is her empathy and real compassion for others in different circumstances than her own,” he says. “And she has never once failed to achieve what she sets her mind to.”
Immediately after graduation, King will be working at St. Stephen’s Human Services in Minneapolis as a family supportive housing case manager. She wants to work with children and families.
“You become a completely different person in college,” she says. “I feel like I can do anything.”