Kennedy Going, a sophomore at Utah Valley University, is studying public and community health, with a blueprint — not just hopes — for her future.
“I plan to graduate in April 2022,” she said. “After that, I want to run a women’s health clinic. For my end goal, I would love to run a nonprofit for women’s health.”
To pursue her goals, she is considering a master’s degree in epidemiology or a Master of Business Administration.
“Epidemiology is the study of human diseases — including how they are spread and how to contain them,” she said. “It is kind of like being a detective of diseases.”
She knows her strengths but also knows her limitations.
“I like the health fields, studying health and helping others,” she said. “But I can’t do blood and guts. I want to study diseases to help protect others.”
Going is from Idaho Falls, but knew she wanted to pursue a degree out of state. A cousin who attended UVU recommended Going become a proud Wolverine. UVU offered her a scholarship, which influenced her decision to register. She arrived on campus in Orem with high hopes and said there are no regrets.
“It has been even better than what I expected,” she said. “It is easy to get involved. They reach out to their students to help them. The Women’s Success Center reached out to me at orientation. They care about the students. Everyone has a place here.”
One place Going found was the Women Lead program. The two-semester program focuses on four key areas of personal development: learn, engage, acquire and discover.
“It is basically a program designed to help women find success in their career and college,” she said. “In Utah, fewer women graduate than men. They really want you to graduate and have the skills to have a good career. ... They taught me skills like how to write a resumé and how to negotiate. Last year, they took a group of us to Seattle, where we met the CEO of Days for Girls.”
Days for Girls is an international nonprofit that helps women who live in impoverished countries continue their educations without interruptions caused by a lack of feminine hygiene products.
“It gives them the freedom they never had before,” Going said.
A group to support Days for Girls started on UVU’s campus a year ago. When its president graduated, she asked Going to consider taking her place. She got the nod from the group and has been in that position since. There are five others in the presidency and about 150-200 members.
In addition to her classwork and Days for Girls duties, Going works approximately 25 hours a week as a pharmacy technician. It fits in with her love for the medical field. She took a nine-month course when she was in high school, then passed a national exam on her first try. It has only about a 40% pass rate, she said. With that behind her, she qualified to obtain state licensure for the occupation. She is licensed in both Utah and Idaho.
The future could take her to Idaho. She is also considering California or Washington state, in part because of the numbers of homeless people in Washington and opportunities to serve there.
In the meantime, she will continue with her education.
“I think everybody needs to find their niche, and education can certainly help,” she said. “It gives you skills, and you will have something to fall back on. Even if you think you don’t need it now, you will likely need it in the future.”
She also encourages women at UVU to take advantage of all that the Women’s Success Center has to offer.
“Get involved with the Women’s Success Center,” she said. “They want you there. They offer all these cool opportunities you didn’t know about. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to network as well as I do.”
The Women’s Success Center offers support and resources needed to complete their degree and gain the confidence, opportunity and knowledge that come with a diploma. UVU is dedicated to providing higher education opportunities to all who seek them, especially to women.
Going also has words of advice for anyone considering higher education. “At times, I feel like I am not doing well enough in school,” she said. “I realized I just need to do my personal best. Keep doing school. That degree will be worth it. Just keep going.” It’s good advice from a student named Going.