Featured Student: Firsthand Account by Kennedy Hutchens, BestPrep Development Intern and Alum

My name is Kennedy Hutchens and I am BestPrep’s Development Intern and featured student for this month! I was a part of the AVID program at Robbinsdale Cooper High School and participated in the eMentors program as a sophomore. My classroom was partnered with Cargill. We were each paired with a volunteer mentor who worked at Cargill and received support from them on writing resumes and career planning. We then got to visit Cargill to meet our mentors, receive a tour of their headquarters, and share a meal. I remember having a great time with my classmates getting to explore Cargill’s fantastic campus. This was a great learning experience on workplace skills and environments, as well as what it’s like working for Cargill!  

I am now senior in the social work program at St. Catherine University. When looking for an internship for my fieldwork requirement for senior year, I recognized BestPrep as one of the internship partnerships with St Kate’s and decided to apply since I experienced their work and impact as a sophomore.  

This past school year with BestPrep was a great experience! A lot of my courses in the social work program have focused on micro level social work, which is working one on one with clients. I got to see a different side of what social work can look like by being able to intern for a macro-level nonprofit who works with larger communities in schools and companies around Minnesota. During my time, I’ve had the opportunity to compile and edit our newsletters, learn how to make website edits, and attend various program events.

I also assisted my supervisor, Brook Sunderman, with the Educational Forum. It was cool to see that event come to life as such a beautiful and fun evening. Additionally, since teachers are invited to the Educational Forum, I got to reconnect with a handful of teachers I had not seen in four years since the pandemic abruptly ended my senior year of high school. Seeing those teachers again was super meaningful and one of my favorite moments. Overall, I got to see firsthand how the partnerships, funding, and volunteers we receive from our sponsors impact our students and create meaningful learning experiences and opportunities for them.  

With my time at BestPrep coming to an end this April, I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this awesome organization, as well as be able to come full circle with my experiences with them in high school. I am looking forward to graduating next month and feel confident beginning my new path with the new skills and experiences I have gained through the internship!