Jennifer Kuykendall: Building a life she loves

Jess DewesStudent Stories

Jennifer beaming on her wedding day.

Jennifer Kuykendall grew up in Affton, MO and attended kindergarten through twelfth grade in the Bayless School District where she was Valedictorian of her 2012 graduating class. She excelled at academics and thrived in the high school’s theater program, where she performed as well as directed other students in middle school plays and musicals. “It was great part of my life, teaching younger children all about theater.”

While theater was a favorite subject in high school, Jennifer was also particularly drawn to mathematics. She set her sights on Saint Louis University for college and considered a career in meteorology before realizing that business and marketing were where her creative and logical talents should merge. A lifelong Cardinals fan and lover of sports, she graduated from Saint Louis University in 2016 with a bachelor’s in business administration with concentrations in sports business and marketing.

Just six years after graduation, Jennifer is newly married and has repaid the interest-free loans she received from The Scholarship Foundation to pursue her undergraduate degree. While she still has other school debt, Jennifer credits the ease of repayment of her Scholarship Foundation loans with making it financially possible to buy a home at age 27 and be able to afford the life she loves today. “I didn’t think I would be in such a beautiful home at this stage of my life. I just feel really grateful to be in the position that I am in.” She works as a marketing specialist at Central Bank, where she has worked for almost five years. In her role, she manages social media and email marketing, and manages events for the bank’s community outreach initiatives.

When asked what advice she would give to current or future students, Jennifer said the most challenging part of her college experience was feeling the pressure to determine what career she wanted at such a young age. “I was toying with a lot of fields and career paths my freshman year of college, and I think that’s the scariest part of it all. You need to stick to it because you will eventually find something that will be perfect for you.”

Jennifer, like many other Foundation scholars, paid for college with a variety of loans, grants, scholarships, and part time jobs. To current and future students in similar circumstances, she said, “Even if you don’t know your path, the education will help you get there. You will make it work, and The Scholarship Foundation will help you along the way.”

Regarding plans for her future, Jennifer said she and her husband are taking time to settle into their new home and enjoy their life together. She said graduate school may be down the road, but not right now. With her versatile degree and financial savvy, the future is wide open.