COOS BAY — For Kim Brick, running for the Coos Bay School Board means having potentially four years to return programs that once helped her.

The 1991 Marshfield High School graduate benefited from the teen parent programs while she was in school, programs that have either disappeared since then or become much smaller.

“Alternative education is crucial,” Brick said. “Not everyone fits into that box of traditional high school. I was a teen parent, graduated from Marshfield, and got the whole shun from everyone saying, ‘What are you going to do?’”

Brick ended up not only graduating high school, but going on to graduate from college.

“I had help because we had a teen parent program,” she said. “I want to see that reinstated and would love to have a robust teen parent program for teens who need help with parenting and education. Right now we don’t have much for them other than a tiny program. I don’t want them to fall through the cracks because they can do so much with their lives and with someone supporting them, they will.”

Until then, Brick holds the alternative education programs close to heart that are established inside the Harding Building. Those include Destinations Academy, GED, and Resource Link.

Brick was first appointed to the school board last July. She initially applied for the position after hearing that a seat was open while participating in Leadership Coos.

“I have had a lot of kids in the district and I wanted to be part of this,” she remembered. “I said to myself, ‘Kim, if you’re so passionate about this, you should make time for it.’”

Brick went on to make it a priority to run uncontested for Position 3.

“We’re in an exciting time in Coos Bay,” she said. “There’s a lot of projects going on with the BEST Bond and the new schools. I have children in the schools, raised seven kids and nieces and nephews. We’ve had kids attend every Coos Bay School. I am invested in this district, in this community, and our kids.”

In fact, she just had a grandchild who will go on to attend the new Eastside School.

“What we’re seeing will benefit generations to come,” Brick said.

Ballots were mailed to voters this week and must be returned by Election Day on Tuesday, May 21.

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.