For one Purdue sophomore, her hard work is not just about academics. She is working toward a future that includes her vision of helping to make another Purdue student’s college experience as full as hers.
On her own since graduating high school, the burden of paying for college and supporting herself is solely on the shoulders of this plucky young woman. With scholarships to help, Kimie Bates (OLS’14) is focused. Her debt of gratitude is being paid with tenacity in an effort to make scholarship donors glad they gave. “I feel I owe them so many things. Not just a thank you. I owe them a degree and good GPA, but I also owe them to be involved and to give back.”
Bates is busy. Between work, school and student activities, it can be hard to keep everything straight. Currently working as an assistant in the Department of Technology, Leadership and Innovation, Bates always puts her studies first, sharing “They are very supportive of everything I have on my plate.”
Her academic record speaks for itself. Because of her scholarships, she has been able to reduce her work hours to part-time and focus more fully on her studies, achieving a 3.5 overall GPA and 3.9 major GPA (Organizational Leadership and Supervision). “There is no way I would be at Purdue, let alone making these grades, if it weren’t for scholarships.”
Driven, Bates has no doubt she is on the right career path. Learning Beyond the Classroom is not just a program on campus; she truly is learning beyond the classroom. Internships (as a human resource generalist and corporate talent management intern at Cummins, Inc.) have helped her apply what she learns in her classes and have given her the real-world experience needed as she moves forward. Also, as one of four Purdue students chosen, she will be attending the Hatton W. Sumners Leadership Conference at the University of Texas at Austin this winter.
Bates is a leader. “I think a good leader has many characteristics: ethical, driven, determined and the ability to influence others. A good leader is always helping to prepare the next leader,” Bates explains. She is currently on the Organizational Leadership and Supervision Student Advisory Board and is treasurer for Purdue Association of Leaders, both organizations aiming to better the school and the students’ experiences. And she adds: “What I like most about these two organizations is that they allow me to truly make a difference while I am here at Purdue.”
With a softening voice, Bates explains where her determination comes from: “I learned about being a good leader from my grandpa. He is my role model. I hope one day to be able to support and influence my family in the way he has us.”
As for continuing her education, Bates would like to go to graduate school, but for now is focused on developing a career in either human resources or operations. Next summer’s internship should help her decide exactly which of the two is the best fit for her.
With a humble heart, Bates states her profound gratitude to donors: “You are making a difference and are an example for students like me to follow in your footsteps and help others. The impact your giving has had on my life is immeasurable.”