Brooke Kottkamp, a teen volunteer at Naper Settlement, an outdoor history museum in Naperville, is the recipient of the Copenhagen Schoolhouse Scholarship, established by Naperville residents Eve and Tom Hushek. The annual $500 award is to be used for college expenses during the freshman year of college directly after graduating from high school.
Brooke, a senior at the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora, has volunteered at Naper Settlement since March 2006.
"I am incredibly honored to receive the Copenhagen Schoolhouse Scholarship," she said. "I have always loved volunteering at Naper Settlement and this award is a wonderful culmination of my seven years of service."
Brooke, who said she always loved history, didn't know Naper Settlement existed until she took a field trip with her class when she was in third grade.
"It was like walking into one of my favorite books," she said. "When I learned in fifth grade that I could volunteer at Naper Settlement, I jumped at the opportunity."
In her scholarship essay, Brooke wrote that being a volunteer at Naper Settlement, "has given me the confidence to speak in front of the public, the ability to alter my interpretation and select information based on the guests I am conversing with, and the know-how to turn interpretation into conversation by listening."
She plans to become a teacher of environmental education and interpretation.
Eve Hushek, who was a Naper Settlement museum educator for 11 years said, "I know that the scholarship winners will continue to excel long after their departure from Naper Settlement. To have their experience at Naper Settlement be even a small part of their success is reward enough for us."
The scholarship is available to high school seniors who have volunteered at Naper Settlement for at least two years, during their sophomore and junior years, specifically as a volunteer costumed building interpreter. Applicants must have demonstrated the customer service expectations specified by Naper Settlement.