For the second year in a row, two Knox students have been selected as Kemper Scholars.
Freshmen Max Potthoff and Alyssa Gill were chosen from a group of finalists from multiple colleges to participate in the program, which helps students find summer internships, provides scholarships and encourages the development of leadership.
“I couldn’t really believe it when I got it,” Gill said. “When I got the email, I screamed and ran around for a bit.”
“It’s a very big honor for me to get it,” Potthoff said.
The Kemper Scholars program, which involves several colleges and universities, has a goal of encouraging leadership in students at liberal arts colleges, with a special focus on leading to careers in business and administration. Students are selected their freshmen year and receive scholarships their sophomore, junior and senior years. The program also provides a stipend for a non-profit internship after their sophomore year and assists in finding a for-profit internship after a student’s junior year.
The program also exposes scholars to the work others are doing in the program. Potthoff actually first heard of the program through sophomore Hannah Basil, one of the two Knox Kemper scholars selected last year.
“It’s going to be a very diverse group of kids in terms of what they’re interested in,” Potthoff said. “Just hearing what they have to offer is going to be great.”
Gill agreed, noting that hearing about other projects was one of the reasons she chose to apply.
“I’m a first year; I don’t know what I want to do my life,” she said. “Hearing the scholars talk about the program and what they’ve done so far … I really just liked the idea.”
Although neither Gill nor Potthoff is entirely certain what careers they would like to eventually pursue, both have areas they would like to explore. Potthoff hopes to work to promote sustainable business and Gill hopes to work with theatre and children. Both will be able to use the Kemper program to attempt to find internships in those areas.
“For me that’s really what Kemper is — the support and the experience,” Gill said.
“The depth of experiences that they offer is something that’s really valuable,” Potthoff said.
Gill and Potthoff will both be attending the Kemper Scholars conference in Chicago this August.