Karen Goodridge has come a long way from where she started. Growing up, education was not a priority and she dropped out of high school as she stepped into motherhood. At 28 years old, Goodridge and her husband learned she couldn’t have another child—throwing a wrench in Goodridge’s life plans. “I was broken because being a stay-at-home mom was what I planned to do. I started thinking that I had to do something for me.” As a woman of faith, she prayed and eventually made the decision to go back to school, although she didn’t stop after earning her GED. She enrolled in Baton Rouge Community College, where an adviser would tell her she’d never graduate college, and later transferred to Southeastern Louisiana University. After graduating with her master’s degree, she was hired on at BRCC—where she was told she’d never succeed—to develop the school’s career center. Nearly two years later, she was recruited by Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University Student Services, where she worked with students for 11 years.
Like thousands of others in the Capital Region, Goodridge and her family lost their home and nearly everything they owned during the floods of 2016. She had been pursuing her Ph.D. at LSU and was expecting to graduate that fall or spring 2017, but she also lost her dissertation and backups. The stress of losing her house, car and research made her feel like giving up—and she even took a year off from her doctorate studies while rebuilding—but she had a growing desire to move from higher education to small business owner. “After the flood, I started thinking if I weren’t afraid and could step out and do anything, what would it be? I started praying and had a vision for KG Consulting.”
WALKING ACROSS THE STAGE
She left Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University in January 2018, founded her consulting firm KG Consulting a year later and received her doctorate degree in leadership and human resource development in the spring of 2019. She focuses her practice on mainly helping people during pivotal transitional stages of life, such as high schoolers, college students and adults changing careers. Dismissing the idea of being a “one-size-fits-all” business, she also works with business owners and managers. In the future, she’s looking to build her brand in the community, develop a series of workshops and transition into becoming a keynote or motivational speaker, especially for women.