The story of a young girl fighting a dog for her share of supper seems like an unlikely story to motivate a teenager. However, order Kim Villamera says this story of her mother fighting for her serving of butterfish is her motivation to achieve her dreams.
Villamera’s mom was born in the Philippines, where she had a drastically different lifestyle than Villamera lives today. On the day her mother fought for her dinner, Villamera said her mother ate like a king, not embarrassed about the whole incident nor did she have any regrets. Villamera says stories like this one passed down from her mother allow her to never take for granted the opportunity she received in growing up in America.
“As I’ve learned and matured that story has sort of stuck with me because it’s so ridiculous,” Villamera said. “That was the first time I ever heard…a true struggle.” This outrageous story between a dog and a little girl has pushed her to excel academically and to one day become Chief Executive Officer of her own nonprofit as her very own butterfish.
She plans to attend James Madison University in the fall majoring in international business.
Currently a senior at Hermitage High School, Villamera has a 3.8 GPA. Outside of school, she is a volunteer at the Manor Care Nursing Home and the Richmond Children’s Museum. Currently, she spends the majority of her volunteer hours as a part of the Youth Philanthropy Project, where teens spend nine months engaging and giving back to the local community.
Experiencing all parts of her intended career field, Villamera has also volunteered her time as a summer intern with A Grace Place adult care center. While there, she shadowed the chief executive officer, Lynne K. Seward.
In her recommendation letter for Villamera, Seward says she has the drive and curiosity to be an active and engaged citizen leader and a lifelong learner. “She will be a stand out student,” Seward wrote. “(She) will make a significant impact both on the community and the world at large.”
Villamera says that since having her shadowing with Seward, she’s become a mentor to her. “She is definitely a big impact in my life right now,” Villamera said.
With strong take-charge women in her life, Villamera has come a long way since being an insecure little girl. Growing up, Villamera says she had many insecurities and was bullied by others, so much that she felt like she didn’t have a voice. This struggle in her life has also pushed her into the career field of a CEO. “I’ve pushed and pushed to try to prove to others that I could also be a leader and showing others that I have a voice,” Villamera said.
As a CEO, she hopes to be able to make hard hitting decisions while having the responsibility of an organization on her shoulders because to her that is the epitome of leadership. “I’ve always asserted myself as a leader,” Villamera said. “And I do that through community service.”