Two WU students learn business, leadership skills as Kemper Scholars

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As part of the incoming class of Kemper Scholars, Luz Reyna ’17 and Zach Ward ’17 will gain experience in business management and leadership.

“I first heard I was finalist when I was getting ready for an interview for Willamette Academy,” says Reyna, a politics major. “I was thrilled to have a sneak peek of what my future would hold. I couldn’t have done it without the support of professor Megan Ybarra and career counselor Cathie Lutz. I am very thankful for their guidance and direction.”

Reyna and Ward are receiving scholarships of up to $10,000. They’ll attend a national conference and spend two summers interning for nonprofit and for-profit organizations in Chicago and elsewhere in the nation.

Through their internships, they’ll also learn financial management skills and organizational and fundraising strategies.

Reyna says the program will help her prepare for a possible career in education, administration or policy work. It will also help her adjust to her new job as an academic programming assistant at Willamette Academy.

“This program will give me the skills to be a leader and achieve my goal of giving back to the community through education,” she says. “Fellowships like these are a great complement to the liberal arts education. I am excited because this program specifically serves as a catalyst for professional growth and career exploration.”

Ward, also a politics major, says he’s looking forward to using this experience to make connections and find work with a nonprofit business.

“Programs like these allow students to expand their horizons and move into the world outside of Willamette,” Ward says. “These programs are incredibly important, and if the Kemper is any indication, Willamette offers plenty of programs to those who seek them.”

The Kemper Scholars Program, sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago, began in 1948. It’s dedicated to promoting education in the liberal arts and providing students with opportunities for career exploration and real-world experience.

For more information about this and similar programs, contact the Office of Student Academic Grants and Awards.

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