Personality: Kennedi Scales
Spotlight on KLM Scholarship Foundation award honoree
8/2/2019, 6 a.m.
An unexpected email brought a surprise, hope and support for one of many Virginia college students. Kennedi Scales is among 52 state students awarded a $1,000 book scholarship for the upcoming school year. Ms. Scales and her award cohorts will receive their scholarships at the 9th Annual KLM Scholarship Foundation Awards, featuring guest speaker UPS Human Resources Director Duane A. Williams, 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Richmond Police Training Academy, 1202 W. Graham Road. The scholarship awards total of $53,000 brings the organization’s 16-year total to more than $321,000. The Virginia Tech rising senior, majoring in systems biology, is an intern at the Vir- ginia Information Technologies Agency in management and relationship governance. She was not aware of KLM’s program until some of her colleagues, who are sponsors of the scholarship, recommended she apply before the June 2019 deadline. She did. In mid-July Ms. Scales just happened to open an email. To her surprise and amazement the unexpected happened. “The award was a welcome surprise because I don’t expect things from my community,” she said in a Free Press interview. “Every good thing that happens to me is a welcome surprise.” Ms. Scales never anticipated winning the scholarship but said, “...my parents were elated and my co-workers were happy too.” “When applying for scholarships, you hope and have faith things will come back and be fruitful,” she said. “This is very exciting.” The KLM Scholarship Foundation’s book scholarship is intended to assist students in purchasing books for high school seniors or four-year college students planning to attend or currently attending a Virginia college or university. They must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be considered for the scholarship. The 2016 St. Catherine’s graduate also is an accom- plished volleyball and softball player. She won two softball “Player of the Game” awards her senior year. As a member of one of Tech’s intramural teams, she says, “The game helps me with time management and relieves stress.” That stress comes from a demanding major plus a minor in science, technology and law. “Because of my academic workload, fitting in the game helps me use my time wisely,” she says. “Softball takes my mind off my studies and gives me mental relief and focus. It’s a stress reliever.” Her future is bright as she prepares for another chapter in her life after graduating in 2020. With an anticipated degree in systems biology, a biology-based interdisciplinary field of study focusing on complex interactions and models biological systems, Ms. Scales plans to go to graduate school. “I’m looking at Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University and Georgetown, in Washington D.C., to earn my master’s in biotechnology,” Ms. Scales says. “Each school has a different environment, from rural to fast-paced big city; although my mom wants me to be very close.” Ms. Scales has a very candid message to high school students and her college peers with respect to earning scholarships. “Your work ethic is always important. Stay focused. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. What you are doing at this moment in time may be challenging and stressful, but it will pay off in the future.” Meet this week’s Personality and a scholar among KLM scholars, Kennedi Scales: