As a Kemper scholar, sophomore Alyssa Gill will be spending her summer expanding her horizons through theater.
Kemper scholars are selected from a number of finalists from numerous colleges. This program aims to provide students with summer internships, scholarships and leadership skills.
“It’s about getting experience in the ‘real world’ and learning what you can do with your passions,” Gill said.
For Gill, theater has always been a passion, one which she will further explore this summer with her marketing internship at Victory Garden’s Theater in Chicago.
“I have a lot of passions; theater is definitely a strong one. I love it. I’d do anything that has to do with it, even if I’m not that good at it,” Gill said.
This will be the first of two summer internships for Gill. Kemper requires scholars to acquire a non-profit internship prior to their junior year where they will live in the city of Chicago with fellow Kemper scholars and will be provided with a stipend. Their second, a for-profit internship, takes place the summer before their senior year and they may be placed anywhere in the world; Kemper offers some money, based on need, for the second internship.
With her love of theater, Gill has spent time in Galesburg with the Prairie Players Civic Theatre.
“There’s a lot of merit to being on the administrative side. I feel like that’s really something I excel at,” she said.
Kemper scholars meet every year at a conference to share their experiences. Gill attended the conference last year and will present this summer. It was the conference that solidified her desire to work with Tony-Award winning Victory Gardens Theater, when she met someone who told her that he wished he had participated in the marketing side of the theater.
Gill anticipates setting up lobby displays, working on publications and promotional materials within the theater.
When asked about Victory Gardens Theater, Gill sat up, beaming and said, “I’m just so excited to be involved with that theater. It’s all about finding new voices.” Victory Gardens focuses on new and developing playwrights. Gill pointed to one play that shed light on Filipino culture, “It’s stuff like that. It’s just exciting to be involved with them.”
She said that living in Chicago with fellow Kemper scholars was the one component of the experience that made her most nervous.
“Being in this new situation, I’m kind of apprehensive about, but I’m sure it’s gonna be awesome.”
Thinking forward, Gill mentions that she may try to find an internship in China next year as her second internship with Kemper. She would hope to work for a foreign company. However, she does not box herself into this.
“The sky is the limit,” she said.
“I had this gut feeling that Knox was right for me and when I found out about the Kemper program, it was like an extension of that,” she said.