Spanish and Religious Studies double major Andrew Keller is this semester’s only graduate of the College of Arts & Letters’ Citizen Scholars program. And while he was unable to study abroad as he originally planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was able to help an organization that has helped him by donating his Citizen Scholars funding to them.
“I feel strongly that the Citizen Scholars program was the best part of my college experience,” Keller said. “It introduced me to lifelong friends, supportive mentors, and valuable experiences that have helped shape me into the person I am today. The program is one of a kind.”
The Citizen Scholars program helps prepare the next generation of high-achieving citizen leaders by putting their values, skills, and practices into action. The four-year program provided Keller with the encouragement and materials he needed to inspire change.
Keller credits the program with giving him the support he needed to thrive at his internship with MSU’s Camp Kesem, which supports children whose parents are struggling with cancer. At Camp Kesem, Keller works directly with Michigan volunteers, leads fundraising initiatives, campaigns for volunteer recruitment, and is planning events for 2021.
I feel strongly that the Citizen Scholars program was the best part of my college experience. It introduced me to lifelong friends, supportive mentors, and valuable experiences that have helped shape me into the person I am today. The program is one of a kind.
Students who complete the Citizen Scholars program receive a $5,000 scholarship, which can be used to pay for study abroad, study away, undergraduate research, internships, or other enrichment opportunities. Keller had planned to use the money to study abroad to Spain.
“Although I was unable to study abroad in Spain like I originally planned, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I received and for everything the Citizen Scholars program has given me,” Keller said. “I have received tremendous support from the Citizen Scholars program, and the Citizen Scholars money was donated directly to Camp Kesem.”
Between the Citizen Scholars program, his two majors, and his work with MSU’s Camp Kesem, Keller’s journey at MSU has been centered on his passions.
As a student, Keller’s interests in Spanish language and culture has given him a better understanding of the world and its diversity. He said that this appreciation “has been strengthened through the department’s intriguing courses and supportive faculty members.”
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of my courses in the Spanish program at Michigan State. The Spanish speaking world is incredibly diverse and my time studying Spanish at MSU has exposed me to that diversity.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of my courses in the Spanish program at Michigan State,” Keller said. “The Spanish speaking world is incredibly diverse and my time studying Spanish at MSU has exposed me to that diversity.”
After graduation, Keller plans to continue his work with Camp Kesem as a chapter co-director. “My degrees in Spanish and Religious Studies have fully prepared me for life after graduation,” he said, “and I’m very excited to apply everything I’ve learned.”
Written by Alec Parr