CILCE Corner: Congratulations Mitch!

The Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement (CILCE) would like to congratulate Mitch Hinnenkamp for being awarded a 2012-13 Phillips Scholarship! We are very happy for Mitch and would like to share a little about him with you.

First, to talk a little bit about the Phillips Scholarship. Each year, St. Thomas may submit one student application to the statewide Phillips Scholarship competition. Six Phillips Scholarships are awarded each March to students at Minnesota’s private colleges and universities. The scholarships, from the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation, are administered through the Minnesota Private College Fund.

Mitch Hinnenkamp

Mitch Hinnenkamp

To apply, candidates must propose a unique and personalized summer service project. Students chosen for the Phillips Scholarship receive not only financial support to make their vision a reality but also a two-year college scholarship! St. Thomas students Bryant Ortega and Jennifer Le are previous Phillips Scholars.

Mitch is a sophomore at St. Thomas, wanting to graduate with a major in marketing management. He was hired on as a tech support intern by CILCE his freshman year after applying for the position through the St. Thomas job site. Mitch has found CILCE to be “a great way to meet new people.” Mitch talked humbly about CILCE as he said “how proud (he is) to be a part of an office with such good intentions that fosters morally responsible leaders … in accordance with the mission statement of St. Thomas.” The St. Thomas mission statement was one of the many things that drew Mitch to coming to school here.

Mitch is one of six Phillip Scholars chosen out of 16 candidates this year. Titling his project Youth Empowerment Project, or YEP, Mitch saw his proposal as a great way to “focus on the empowerment and equality of youth by promoting self-confidence and well-being through programming focused on anti-bullying.” He started seeing a need for such action in high school when two Minnesota teens committed suicide because they felt “ostracized and bullied.”

When Mitch was a member of the Optimist Club in high school, he "began noticing the benefits of being happy with (himself) and that living a positive life is more fulfilling than a negative one.” Mitch seems to feel very passionately about his project and is anxious to get it started, thanks to the financial aid of the Phillips Family Foundation.   

With plans to partner with the YMCA, Mitch has gone as far as creating a project timeline for YEP. Mitch will begin implementing his project this summer. As our conversation came to an end, Mitch felt the need to express his gratitude to CILCE by stating how happy he is “knowing his work with CILCE benefits those on the St. Thomas campus but also reaches out to the greater community.”

CILCE would like to wish Mitch the best of luck with his project! If you wish to learn more about the Youth Empowerment Program be sure to check out the YEP website.