Emily Kuhn, a homeschooled student from New Kent County who is currently working for an Associate of Arts and Sciences transfer degree at Rappahannock Community College, has received a $1000 scholarship from Omega Protein. This award has helped deserving RCC students since its establishment in 2012.
Kuhn feels fortunate, she says, to have qualified for the award. Combined with the income from her part-time employment and support from her parents, it should allow her to avoid student debt while attending RCC. She chose RCC not only because two of her sisters had positive experiences there, but also because the college’s faculty and staff showed a personal interest in her success. She feels that RCC is “the perfect option” for her to achieve her goals.
After graduating from RCC, Kuhn will use the college’s guaranteed admission agreement to transfer to the College of William & Mary. There she plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine before deciding which medical specialty she would like to pursue, and selecting a graduate school to continue her education.
Her talents and can-do attitude toward hard work mark her for success in her chosen endeavors. In addition to working at a local restaurant and at the Colonial Downs race track — exercising and grooming the horses and maintaining the stables — she has given private lessons in training and riding horses at her family’s farm. Since Colonial Downs closed, she has channeled her energies into sales, as a distributor of Arbonne personal care and wellness products.
In spite of her busy schedule, Kuhn finds time for the arts. An accomplished pianist who plays for church services, weddings, funerals, and other events, she finds that playing the piano is a “great tool” for focusing her mind. Even a short practice session makes her feel alert and energized throughout the day. Also, Kuhn has recently taken up “salsa” dancing, which she encountered on her latest mission trip to Peru. Dance clubs in Richmond are her source for lessons in this complicated art, and for access to long-time practitioners who can demonstrate its multiple styles.
Kuhn’s gift for focusing on what matters has been very valuable to her. As early as the seventh grade, she realized that going to a public high school would present her with many social distractions and that she would derive more academic benefit from studying at home. Supplementary tutoring has been provided her by Aretè Christian Academy in Mechanicsville.
She owes her strong values to her parents, who have been excellent role models for herself and her four siblings. In addition to running the farm — which serves as an animal rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary as well as offering equine breeding and training services — her mother acts as a “family navigator,” performing assessments to help determine the most effective way to care for children with special needs, and her father owns a tire recycling operation.
They also host a weekly community food pantry at their home. With this background, Kuhn could hardly help developing a service-oriented mindset. Her many volunteer efforts include acting as a nurse aide at Bon Secours Memorial Medical Center in Mechanicsville; leading a youth study group at Hopewell Baptist Church; organizing community service events on behalf of the church; and arranging three week-long mission trips, one to Mexico and the others to Peru.
“You know what’s important to somebody by how they spend the first hour of the day,” says Kuhn. She usually spends that time studying the Bible, often reading a chapter several times in a row in order to enhance her understanding of the lessons it offers. Though she does not go to the Bible looking for specific answers, she does find that it gives her an improved perception of life situations. Her strong Christian-based values impel her to shift much of the credit she receives for her accomplishments to her faith; as she says, “I’m only as good as my God made me.”