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Graduate Overcomes Traumatic Brain Injury to Earn Degree

Bakersfield, California – Kimberley Melbourne, a recent graduate, has defied the odds by earning her degree after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) left her struggling to read and remember. Melbourne, who completed a Bachelor of Professional Arts in Human Services, was determined to “fix her brain” and pursue higher education despite her injury.

In 2009, Melbourne’s life took a drastic turn when a snowmobiling accident caused a TBI, impairing her memory and cognitive abilities. She could no longer read novels or remember phone numbers, drastically affecting her daily life. Despite these challenges, Melbourne found strength in her family, particularly her two sons with autism, and decided to invest in her education.

She chose a university that offered flexible learning accommodations and online courses, which allowed her to balance work, family, and brain injury rehabilitation. The support from the university’s accessibility services was crucial, providing her extra time for exams and other necessary adjustments.

Her journey to graduation on June 20 marks personal achievement and her commitment to helping other parents of autistic children. Melbourne has launched a business, Family Learning for Autism, to empower parents with strategies for their children’s success.

Reflecting on her journey, Melbourne stated, “I’ve grown and developed more than I expected. I’ve become an educated adult with less anxiety about not understanding.

Melbourne’s story is a testament to the resilience and the transformative power of education in brain injury rehabilitation.

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