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Scholar Profile: Kendra A. Grimmett '15, MSW, LMSW

Hello, I’m Kendra A. Grimmett, a dedicated Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) for Montgomery County Public Schools. I’m a Rockville, MD native and mother to a 19 year old Montgomery College student athlete. My daughter, family, close friends, my puppy Kali, and my faith are priorities in my life. I enjoy traveling to learn about other cultures, reading, and event planning and coordinating. I always imagined myself as the President, a figure skater, or playing in the WNBA, but life had other plans. 

I hold an AAS in Criminal Justice, BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and a MSW. I’m a proud recipient of the Bernie Scholarship Award in 2015. Since then, I have tirelessly applied my passion for supporting youth and families in roles such as Sex Trafficking Case Manager, CPS Social Worker, and Mental Health Therapist. I specialize in trauma informed care, employing a wrap around, empathetic approach to address the unique needs of students and families.

So how did I get here? As a single mother with past childhood trauma, I didn’t realize the impact these experiences had on my life until receiving support from various programs in our community. Instead of being labeled or being judged for not knowing how to handle mental, behavioral and emotional challenges, I was empowered to learn healthy coping strategies and parenting interventions by utilizing what I learned in college. 

Because of the Bernie Scholarship, I was able to study abroad in Thailand while attending the University of Maryland College Park. This awarded me the opportunity to be directly exposed to the consequences of human trafficking. I gained experience and knowledge in criminal justice, comparative justice, human rights, child exploitation, and victim advocacy. Beyond the monetary aspect of the Bernie Scholarship, being a recipient gave me hope. Because the scholarship funders believed in me, it gave me a bigger purpose in life and I want to honor the generosity through my work. As a child of poverty, I made it a lifelong goal to break generational family cycles and achieved that by becoming a first generation college graduate. As a teen mom, the road to educational success was tough for me, but my love for school and the various supports motivated me to be a positive role model for my daughter. 

I truly believe, “it takes a village” to raise a child and I want to be a part of the positive experience youth receive. I hold a strong motto: #IAmNotAStatistic which means, to excel beyond the labels that are placed upon us and strive for greatness. As a first-generation college student, I know what it feels like to be empowered and I want to direct others toward their purpose and show them that they too can live meaningful fulfilling lives. My commitment to lifelong learning and advocacy stems from my lived experience and serving many communities. I’m proud to be able to continue to contribute in this way embodying the values and spirit of the Bernie Scholarship.


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