There are jobs that people consider a calling as much as a vocation. Kim Wade has one of those jobs. Kim is a cosmetology professor at Sandhills Community College.
Cosmetology was not part of Kim’s plan growing up, but she was taking a manicure class watching her sister, Dina, study cosmetology and said, “I can do this.” They opened a salon together in 1987.
A close family friend, Hazeline Hinton, suggested Kim consider teaching, which eventually led her to become the evening cosmetology program coordinator at Sandhills Community College. Hinton was so much more than a friend.
“She was a second Mom to me and changed the course of me and my sister’s life,” said Kim.
Kim has worked for the college for over 20 years and loves her job.
“I get to meet so many people from all different walks of life,” she explained.
Kim attempts to instill in her students a holistic approach to their work.
“It is like the laying on of hands — like a priest would do,” Kim said. “They can open hearts and offer help and haircuts and styling. All we do is part of healing.”
Kim and her fiancé have been together since 2003. She has two adult children from a previous relationship. Her daughter works in education administration in Richmond, VA, and her son, a construction specialist, lives in Fayetteville.
In addition to her work at the college, Kim is a fixture in West Southern Pines (once known as Jimtown) where she grew up. At age 17, she approached the Town of Southern Pines about using the local gym as a community center. She was told, “we will give you the keys, but we can’t pay you.”
This was the beginning of a life of community service. Sessions in the gym became one of the focal points in the community. Children would come and play, and they would sell popcorn and Kool-Aid to help cover expenses. It also gave people a safe place to be creative.
Kim is also a talented writer who began writing plays for talent shows and is now a published playwright. She also wrote and produced a documentary on Jimtown. Her service to the community was recognized by Who’s Who in Black America in 1987.
Kim also owns a building in Southern Pines that she is currently using as a community center where several local civic organizations meet. She hopes to eventually turn it into a museum depicting life in West Southern Pines.
With all she has accomplished, and the myriad ways she gives to others, her dedication to the community remains her priority.
“I will give everything I can to our community,” she concluded.
Feature photo: Sandhills Community College Cosmetology Program Coordinator Kim Wade. Photo provided.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice.