Former junior athlete strikes gold with master’s degree - STETHS past student overcome hurdles on way to big academic performance
Former Jamaica junior athlete Kimone Green, having completed her master's degree, is urging current and potential college students never to give up, even though the road may be rocky.
"College life wasn't an easy road for me," said Green, who last week graduated with a master's degree in sport management from the Liberty University in Virginia, USA.
"Every step of the way I had to fight for what I wanted, both in the classroom and on the field," said Green, who started a track and field career from Aberdeen Primary and Junior High before moving on to represent St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) at Champs.
"Never in a million years, if someone would have told me this humble little girl from Aberdeen district would earn two degrees in four years, would I believe it," she said.
"I thank God that I was able to gain success both on and off the track. Nothing beats prayers, self-determination and self-belief," added Green, who will celebrates her 24th birthday on May 23.
Green, who spent one year at The Mico University College, completed her Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology at Abilene Christian University in 2017. She said it was after that, and with one year of eligibility in track and field left, she decided to pursue a master's degree.
"I didn't want to throw away my talent in the trash just because I completed college early," she said, while expressing that "God has been so good to me over the course of my life".
Green won a bronze medal in the U17 300m hurdles the first time she represented Jamaica at the 2010 Carifta Games. The youngster, who describes herself as "an average student athlete in high school", went on to win silver in the 400m hurdles at Champs 2012, and gold in the U20 400m hurdles at the Carifta Games in 2013.
In her three years at Abilene Christian, Green won three Southland Conference titles (2015, indoor 400; 2016, indoor 400; 2016, outdoor 400 hurdles). She has marks of 24.39 (200), 54.28 (400), 8.72 (60 hurdles) and 57.78 (400 hurdles).
"Being an athlete for so many years, I only knew how to be strong and stay strong on the field and never in real-life situations," said Green, who works with Tusculum University as a volunteer coach.
"Because of that, I had so many doubts in my head that I could not make it in graduate school. For a long time, since high school, I thought of myself as an average kid academically, and never one day gave thoughts that I would have accomplished so much in school.
"My first day in graduate school, I spent the duration of the class convincing myself that I do not belong here, I can't do this, I'm not cut out for this, and I wanted to quit. However, something kept me going, my family," she said.
"The first two semesters were a combination of highs and lows. Sometimes I am in control, feeling brave and strong, and other times I felt like I am not going to make it, and again I wanted to quit. Thank God, I didn't."
Green, who received the 2018 South Indoor Championship outstanding female track award, said after her track and field eligibility ended things got very tough, which almost forced her to withdraw.
"It left me depressed and hopeless, but I continued to fight. It got tougher close to the completion of my degree, but I knew I had to stay strong for my family, my mom, dad and my baby sisters, knowing that this milestone would make them very proud if I finish up strong.
"I hope my story will help to inspire others to believe giving up should never be an option," she said.