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Methodist Family Health – Share the Light

Photography by Lori Sparkman Photography

   Fellow Arkansans – neighbors, colleagues and friends – are sharing a light of peace, kindness and generosity that makes The Natural State a little brighter. Inviting Arkansas and Methodist Family Health celebrate individuals who illuminate our community with goodness. Nominate someone today for a future feature that SHINES.

   Quinshell Smith is a first-generation college student. She is a UA Little Rock graduate with a bachelor’s degree in both biology and psychology as well as a master’s degree in applied science, concentration in microbiology. Currently, she is working on a PhD in applied bioscience researching the antibacterial properties of nanostructure aluminum surfaces to combat bacterial infections. Impressive, right? Yet, Quinshell attributes much of her success to the invaluable resources that Methodist Family Health provides.

   As a teenager, Quinshell experienced many challenges and obstacles including abuse. As a result, she joined Methodist Family Health’s Little Rock therapeutic group home. Methodist Family Health offered a foundation and tools for future success: structure, support, and most importantly, a home. Quinshell recognizes, “Methodist Family Health means to me exactly what the name implies. Family. They have always been a family to me even when I was put in a system that makes you feel like no one cares about you. Even to this day, I feel cared for and supported.”

   The Methodist Family Health statewide continuum of care helps Arkansas children, like Quinshell, and families who are abandoned, abused, neglected and struggling with psychiatric, behavioral, emotional and spiritual issues. But what makes Methodist Family Health exceptional, according to Amanda Smith, CFRE, executive director of Methodist Family Health Foundation, is “Even after the children leave Methodist, they continue to provide care to former occupants by providing a scholarship for college or vocational training.” This enabled Quinshell to obtain a master’s degree as well as the opportunity to pursue her PhD.

   Quinshell didn’t allow her story to dictate the narrative. Instead, her life journey – with unexpected detours – drives her to help other individuals. After graduation in May,  she plans to attend medical school to become a medical researcher to better be able to research ways of improving human health. She explains, “I am nine months from graduating with a PhD, and Methodist Family Health has made it truly easy for me to focus on my graduate studies without having to worry about how to pay for it. Coming from these humble beginnings, I am motivated to push for better for myself and the generation after me.”

Sponsored by Methodist Family Health | Nominations accepted at Foundation@MethodistFamily.org
methodistfamily.org | #ShareTheLightandSHINE

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