Getting her body and mind into shape

SOFIYA BALLIN / DAILY NEWS STAFF Kimberley Richards takes a break in front of the Art Museum on Sunday. The community-outreach coordinator uses the steps for exercise, a la "Rocky," when her gym is closed.
SOFIYA BALLIN / DAILY NEWS STAFF Kimberley Richards takes a break in front of the Art Museum on Sunday. The community-outreach coordinator uses the steps for exercise, a la "Rocky," when her gym is closed.
Posted: April 02, 2013

KIMBERLEY RICHARDS, 23, sits perched with her headphones on and laptop on a table, enjoying a rainy Easter Sunday at Cafe L'Aube, on Wallace Street near 16th.

Richards is a special assistant and African-American community-outreach coordinator for at-large Councilman David Oh, and is chair of the Black Film Advisory Committee.

"I wanted to start working with people in film within the city," says Richards. "There is a lack of platforms for the black film community."

On the weekends, however, Richards works on personal endeavors. She's found that her boss and colleagues are supportive.

"They are very receptive to it," she says. "The councilman wants his staff to be involved in the community and supports both our personal outreach and outreach within our job duties."

On a typical Sunday, she'll have brunch with sorority sisters from Delta Sigma Theta, but most are home for Easter. After graduating from Temple in 2011, Richards still finds herself adapting to her independence and making time for the essentials, such as working out.

"Growing up, I was so used to playing a lot of sports," she says "Now, being in my 20s without an organized sport, I try to make the effort to stay in shape."

With her cousin getting married in July in her parents' homeland of Jamaica, Richards has the motivation needed to reach her goal of having a toned bikini body.

She's been trying to complete a 30-day squat challenge; at her apartment, she shows her roommate and a guest the picture of the gluteus she's aiming for, and they both nod in admiration and approval.

"My mom, aunts and cousins are all beautiful women with great shapes," she says. "After seeing their beach bodies last summer, I'm inspired to have my body beach-ready!"

- Sofiya Ballin

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