Two Ursinus students interested in enhancing their leadership skills were named Kemper Scholars, selected by the James S. Kemper Foundation in Chicago, Ill. Rising sophomores Youssef Boussen of Silver Spring, Md., and Micaela Lyons of Plainfield, N.J., were chosen from a group of finalists from colleges across the country.
An Ursinus student has been named to the scholars group each year since the partnership was forged in 2004. The Kemper Scholars program prepares students for leadership and service, especially in the fields of organizational administration and business. They receive annual scholarships based on need during their sophomore, junior and senior years of college, and receive stipends to work as interns in major non-profit organizations in Chicago during the summer following their sophomore year.
Boussen said he was interested in becoming a Kemper Scholar to create a network that will enable him “to land jobs that can make a difference in people’s everyday lives.”
Lyons chose to apply to be a Kemper Scholar because of the opportunities it will present for her career. “Although I am not sure about my professional future, the one thing I know for sure is that I want to be happy and successful, and I want to enjoy whatever it is that I end up doing. I think that being a Kemper Scholar will keep me motivated throughout the next four years and help clear the way for my future,” she said.
Lyons’ academic interests are psychology, Spanish, dance, art and forensic science. She swims on the Ursinus varsity team and was captain of the varsity swim team in high school. She is also an avid dancer, and longtime Girl Scout. She received the Scouts’ highest honor, the Gold Award, for teaching minority youths swimming skills. She is active in her church, where her father, Leroy Lyons, is pastor.
Boussen plans on a Business and Economics major, and has an interest in politics. He is part of the Frisbee and soccer clubs and is vice president of the Ultimate Frisbee Club. Off campus, he is a biker and kayaker, completing a 21-day kayak trip and a 114-day bike trip. He spent the majority of his life in La Marsa, Tunisia, and participated in the Arab spring in Tunisia in 2011.
Kemper Scholars are placed in full-time administrative positions where they learn about financial management, organizational strategy, fund-raising, and non-profit administration. In Chicago they live together and participate in a weekly seminar. The Foundation believes that an undergraduate liberal arts education is the best preparation for life and career. The program promotes education in the liberal arts while providing opportunities for career exploration and practical experience. Each year all Kemper Scholars attend a national conference to discuss summer projects, meet with former Kemper Scholars, and consider topics in administration, leadership and business. They periodically read and discuss major works on leadership, service, ethics, or business; and they have frequent contact with Kemper Foundation staff to discuss academic and professional goals, as well as their hopes for future careers and learning opportunities.