When Kimberly Krattley was a Hopkins, Minn., high school senior, she didn’t know that she could be admitted to multiple colleges. “Being a first-generation college student, I thought that each student was accepted to just one college. So, when I was accepted to Concordia, I assumed that was where I would go. When I got acceptances from the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State the next week, I thought, wait a minute, this doesn’t make any sense!”

It was confusing experiences like this one that prompted Krattley — by then a college junior — to develop the website Collegeconnected.net, which explains things like types of colleges, financial aid, and the admission process. She created this website as her community service project for the Phillips Scholars Program.

The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota awards $16,500 over two years to five Minnesota private college students dedicated to community service, including support for summer projects like Krattley’s. “I would love for my website to reach a wider audience and help as many students as possible,” she says.

Concordia has turned out to be the “perfect fit for me,” says Krattley. She appreciates its strong language program, urban location, and manageable size. Small college benefits became even clearer to Krattley when she took a few classes at North Dakota State University. “At small liberal arts schools you have so much better connections with professors,” she says.

Krattley has taken full advantage of Concordia, playing lacrosse and rugby, joining the German Club, and enrolling in a mentorship program that led to an internship at a surgery center in Fargo. Her ultimate goal? To earn a master’s degree in health care administration.

Meanwhile, she wants donors to know that “their willingness to give is so appreciated by students like me. And someday, when I am in a position to do so, I will pay it forward because of people like them.”