Amanda McNaughton has been chosen by the Minnesota Private College Fund as a 2011-2013 Phillips Scholar, the Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement has announced. A sophomore majoring in philosophy and English with a minor in sociology, she is one of six Phillips Scholars in Minnesota who will design and implement summer programs that deal with important social issues.
McNaughton will begin her research and program development this summer and will receive a total of $16,400 in Phillips’ funds for her education and to complete her service project between her junior and senior years. The selection process is highly competitive, with private college students from across the state vying for one of six scholarships. McNaughton was recognized for both her past involvement and her ongoing dedication to serving others. She joins UST junior Bryant Ortega, who was selected last year as a Phillips Scholar and will implement his service project this summer.
McNaughton’s initiative is called “Skills for School: A school preparatory program for children and mothers.” She will partner with the East Metro Women’s Council, where she has been volunteering since last summer, and will work with about 35 3- to 5-year-olds and their mothers who are residents of East Metro Place. With the children she will focus on developing a curriculum that focuses on literacy and social development. In her work with the mothers, she will inform them of the importance of their child’s education, encourage them to read together, and implement parent-child activity time during her classes with the children. East Metro provides housing for homeless and low-income families in White Bear Lake.
At St. Thomas, McNaughton is involved in the Aquinas Scholars board (symposium chair), Philosophy Club (treasurer), Literary Club and Delta Epsilon Sigma. She works in the Academic Support Center and also served as a group facilitator for the Connect program.
The university accepts applications from sophomores for Phillips Scholar competition each fall. Candidates propose service project ideas, and St. Thomas ultimately selects one sophomore to advance to the state level of competition based on the student’s academic credentials, leadership experience and desire to dedicate a portion of his or her life to community service.