The biggest lesson Kaitlyn Miner has learned so far in life is one she plans to practice throughout her undergraduate career at St. Ambrose.
"I believe if you keep your mind open to other people, they can influence and inspire you into becoming the best person you can possibly be," she said.
This fall, Miner will join campus as a first-year student and as an Ambrose Scholar, a recognition that includes a full-tuition scholarship. Miner was awarded the scholarship based on her academic achievement and an essay she wrote about her involvement, leadership, and desire to impact SAU.
She graduated this spring first in her class of 530 students at Moline (Illinois) High School and was an AP scholar, active member of National Honor Society, and a Junior Rotarian.
When Miner launched her college search, finding a close-knit campus community was her No. 1 priority. When she toured St. Ambrose, she watched her student guide greet friends, classmates and professors everywhere they went. It was telling, she said, adding those simple greetings demonstrated the depth of community at SAU.
Miner liked that service would be wrapped into her Ambrosian education. She started volunteering in her church nursery when she was 13-years-old. In high school, she took on additional volunteer positions with YouthHope and Wyldlife. Both organizations serve, and provide mentors, to youth. "Service to others was always important to me and it will continue to be through college," she said.
Miner's decision to become an Ambrosian was cinched when she was offered the scholarship. "I thought to myself, what other sign do I need? I knew St. Ambrose was the school for me."
Launching A Journey
Kaitlyn Miner joins the SAU campus this fall as an Ambrose Scholar, a recognition that includes a full-tuition scholarship. “I am looking forward to living on campus and enjoying the college experience. It is the first step into adulthood and independence,” she said. “Wherever this journey takes me, I am sure the journey will be pretty fun.”
Miner is entering her first-year with an eye toward attending medical school someday, but wants to remain open to other options, too. "I want to explore all of the majors I can and follow whatever path I feel is calling me," she said.
Exploration has worked well for her in the past. Miner was heavily involved in high school, serving as captain of the varsity cheerleading squad, student congress president, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, and she participated in yearbook, history club and Habitat for Humanity.
Miner said those experiences helped her develop leadership skills, including the ability to rally peers to get involved in school and the community, something she wants to continue at St. Ambrose.
While serving as editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, Miner wrote a monthly column and used it as a platform to raise awareness about such things as the corruption of power and sexual harassment. "I anticipate my passion for journalism extending to St. Ambrose where I will be able to inspire and educate my fellow peers through writing," she said, adding she'd love to write for, or help edit, any of the SAU student publications.
"I am looking forward to living on campus and enjoying the college experience. It is the first step into adulthood and independence," she said. "Wherever this journey takes me, I am sure the journey will be pretty fun."