At a young age, Kim Strausser’s parents taught her the importance of giving back to the community.
“Both of my parents belonged to service organizations, so I grew up watching them and sensing the importance of offering my time and effort to helping other people,” Strausser said.
Strausser has found opportunities to help others in her professional and personal life.
As a school psychologist for Hudson City Schools, Strausser works closely with students to measure their intelligence and academic skills and to detect any disabilities. She said she knew she wanted to be a psychologist when she was 12.
“Books were very important to my parents, so our home was filled with lots of books, including encyclopedias and information-type books,” Strausser recalled. “My parents had a set of Time Life books, one of which was called ‘The Mind,’ and I was particularly drawn to that book. I read through it many times and just was fascinated with the idea of the brain and how people’s personalities and brains work, and that sustained throughout my life.”
Outside of work, Strausser serves as co-president of Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson. She said she enjoys being a member of the small congregation.
“We have about 100 families, so when I go to Friday night services I often know everybody who is there. It’s an opportunity to not only have an experience of meditation and prayer and a Shabbat rest, but also a time to reconnect with people and other Jews who also enjoy being there for similar reasons,” she said.
Making a difference is unique to each person, Strausser said. Showing up to an event or meeting often is the first step.
“Sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to be interested in, so I think it’s good for people to take a chance and maybe get involved in something that you’re not sure you would be interested in, but you might find that you are because you like the group of people who are there,” she said. “If you don’t see something that you think would be a good fit, then think about ways that you can create that situation.”
– Kristen Mott