One Kentucky State University employee has built her career on making an impact by helping what she calls overcomers.

T’Ebony Torain, director of Upward Bound, has worked at Kentucky State for 11 years. Torain also previously served as director of two other college readiness programs called GO College and B.R.E.D. Scholars.

“I enjoy building leaders and making an impact upon a demographic of students who society may deem at-risk, but I deem them as overcomers,” Torain said.

Torain said she absolutely loves working at Kentucky State.

“I have grown tremendously starting out as a young professional until now,” Torain said. The people at Kentucky State have poured so much knowledge, wisdom and skills into my life. As a first-generation college student myself, I have traveled to different cities and met so many wonderful people through my employment at Kentucky State.”

Torain said each president she has served, from Presidents Sias through Brown, have taught her so much about being a leader.

“During Dr. Brown’s tenure, I have learned to be innovative,” Torain said. “I have worked 11 great years at Kentucky State and I am open to new and exciting opportunities the University has to offer.”

Torain said she applied to work at Kentucky State as an academic counselor in 2008 after a conversation with Dr. Penny Smith, who was assistant vice president of distance learning and outreach. Torain interviewed for the position and got the job.

“At that time, my supervisor, Gill Finley, told me something that impacted my life,” Torain said. “He said, ‘It’s not what you do, it’s who you are.’ From what I learned, our skills and abilities will get us in the door, but our character will keep us in the place we are destined to be.”

Torain said she’s found that her ability to be diligent and faithful during transitional times has paid off.

“I have witnessed several transitions since being at Kentucky State, but I have found that being diligent and faithful, in addition to God, have kept me here,” Torain said.

Torain said she is a proud Fisk University graduate, with a degree in history, as well as a proud Kentucky State graduate, with a master’s in public administration.

The Hopkinsville native said she is a proud country girl who stands on the shoulders of blue-collar workers.

“They made me who I am today,” Torain said.