Charles Harned, Knox College
Charles Harned is a Knox junior who served in the Student Senate, captained the league championship men’s soccer team, founded a non-profit organization, and is currently serving as a White House intern.
On a campus where community service and leadership are widely practiced and highly valued, Charlie has distinguished himself among his peers with his commitment to education. In the summer before his sophomore year he co-founded and served as the chair of the Anything is Possible Education Foundation. The goal of the organization is to make college more accessible. Charlie filed the 501(c)(3) paperwork, raised money, designed a website, helped develop tutoring materials, and recruited Knox students to serve as ACT/SAT test prep tutors for Galesburg high school students. Under his inspiring leadership, the group raised enough money to award two scholarships in their first year. Whether leading a study session for his soccer teammates or creating a sustainable organization that addresses a significant need in our community, Charlie is committed to empowering others through education.
Charismatic and humble, ambitious and unfailingly respectful may not be a typical combination of traits, but Charlie possesses all of them. His ability to lead others for the purpose of positive social change is unquestioned.
-President Teresa Amott, Knox College
I have always had a passion for community service and helping others. Until college, this passion often manifested itself as ideas or discussion. However, one idea moved me from talk to action: “It’s not who you are underneath, but what you do, that defines you.” I founded the Anything Is Possible Education Foundation (AIPEF) during the summer of 2013. AIPEF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of making college more accessible to local high school students. We do this by providing a free ACT tutoring service and awarding college scholarships. My commitment to education is also central to my work as the captain of the men’s soccer team. I lead mandatory team study sessions for two hours a night. These sessions led to us receiving the highest nationwide honor for team GPA and to five players being named Academic All Conference. Ultimately, I believe I can effect the greatest positive change to the American education system through elected office. As a White House Intern I am gaining political experience and technical knowledge about education on a national scale. I hope to use my leadership skills and experience to make high quality public education available to every American.