April Burnett, a 2023 graduate of Mulvane High School, is one of five St. Newman Scholarship recipients at Newman University. This is the university’s most prestigious scholarship that offers full tuition renewable for four years.
“When I was offered the scholarship, I was extremely grateful. Money for college was always a big worry and I was happy that I was staying close to home. I’m glad that I could be part of such a prestigious honor,” said Burnett.
Burnett is excited to attend Newman because of its social work program and because the university is located close to Mulvane. After touring Newman, she found that it was a small and close-knit campus — two of the most important factors for her. Although she has yet to meet many students from Newman, she is looking forward to getting to know the campus community.
She believes that this scholarship will help her and her family tremendously, as it allows her to have a plan for college finances.
“I think when my family looks at me they are proud to say, ‘She’s a St. Newman scholar’ and have that mean something,” said Burnett.
Burnett has several years of involvement with high school clubs, including the National Honor Society, Kansas Association of Youth and different roles in theater.
Burnett has always had a heart for helping others, and with that, hopes to dream big.
Growing up she often dreamed about running a homeless shelter, a group home or a food bank. She realized as she got older that all those things are what she wanted and would benefit from in her life, not necessarily what others could benefit from. While she still has goals of her own, she has pivoted to thinking about where others would end up after she helped them.
“The difference I want to make in the world is that one person can look at me and say ‘She made a difference in my life personally,’” said Burnett.
Burnett realized that once she started truly listening to those around her, she found that many had problems she didn’t know how to solve. She realized, through those who had helped her, that she could do small things that meant a great deal to others.
A quote that changed her mindset was from a former teacher: “Kindness and understanding can go a long way to improving someone’s life.”
Burnett started helping people with their homework, offered car rides to those who didn’t have a ride, let people talk while she listened and lent her friends money when they needed it.
“All of this may not seem like a lot, but as someone who has been on the receiving end of it, it really does make a difference,” said Burnett.
These habits led to community service projects “beyond just what looked good on a resume.”
In doing this, she fell even more in love with helping others and realized she didn’t have to make grand gestures to do so. Burnett plans to carry this passion into Newman, hopefully inspiring others to love community service as much as she does.
“Newman is both a clear path in the road and a guiding hand that will help me get to where I want to be and help others to the best of my ability,” said Burnett.
Earn a social work degree at Newman University
Social work is not just a job, it is a helping profession rooted in dedicating oneself to continuous growth, learning, change and becoming the best version of yourself.