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KBB Scholars

Olivet College has been committed to inclusion and diversity for over 175 years, educating and advancing women leaders since the College’s founding. As a testament to this commitment, the first graduating class was comprised of three women — Sophia Keyes, Mary Barber and Sara Benedict. In honor of these women, Olivet College has established the Women’s Leadership Institute Keyes-Barber-Benedict (KBB) Scholars Program, a focal point of deep learning and engagement for a select group of women on campus.


This unique and comprehensive leadership program seeks to engage and unite women students and mentors as they create a clear path to a successful and fulfilling future as tomorrow’s leaders. The Keyes-Barber-Benedict Scholars Program is designed to deeply connect scholars with their academic, career and civic passions and prepare them to be exceptional citizens and employees or graduate/professional students upon graduation. In the spirit of our first three graduates, KBB Scholars learn to embrace their unique qualities and develop the confidence and courage to become influential and successful women who boldly seek and achieve their goals.


Throughout their time at Olivet, KBB Scholars will collect an extensive body of knowledge and experience that will benefit them throughout their studies and post-graduation endeavors. They will gain a greater sense of self, develop leadership skills and self-confidence and build their capacity to face fears, persevere and succeed. They will be inspired to become the leaders every organization seeks and every employer desires.

  • Soft Skill Development: Build confidence in soft skills such as communication, networking, critical thinking and time management
  • Leadership Training: Complete the yearlong OC ATHENA International Leadership Program that focuses on eight key leadership principles.
  • Scholarship Opportunity: Receive the $2,000 Women’s Leadership Institute Scholarship for full participation in the program upon qualification and successful completion of the KBB application.
  • “Ment-Hership”: Be mentored by some of Michigan’s prominent women leaders and become a mentor to incoming KBB students.
  • Leadership Development: Follow a personalized leadership development roadmap and individualized strategy that will help each scholar define a clear vison to drive their experiences at Olivet College and beyond.
  • Community Engagement: Participate in service projects and foster relationships around the state of Michigan. Scholars will have the opportunity to get involved and facilitate community outreach.
  • Professional Development: Participate in special job shadowing and internship opportunities to advance your professional network along with attending conferences and events.
  • Career Services: Develop and practice interviewing and negotiating skills and receive assistance with resume and cover letter writing.
  • Program offices: Have access to the Women’s Leadership Institute office, which provides young women with space for individual and group gatherings. Students have access to the area for lounging, reading, conversation, collaboration, study or just taking time to relax in the middle of the day.
  • Program events: Attend a variety of events hosted by the Women’s Leadership Institute, including a speaker series in the fall and spring semesters for students to learn more about others paths to leadership and annual girls’ camps where students can mentor high school and middle school leaders.
Women’s Leadership Institute Coordinator/Recruiter

Jamilia Johnson

In her role the Olivet College Women’s Leadership Institute Coordinator, Jamilia aims to guide young women in their journey of personal growth and leadership development. In addition, Jamilia works directly with our Women’s Leadership Institute Keyes-Baber-Benedict Scholars Program, a vibrant and engaging women’s leadership program that provides educational and personal growth opportunities for its members. Jamilia holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and is passionate about working with students on their journey to self-discovery and professional advancement.

As a woman undergraduate student in a traditionally male dominated STEM field, I have had the opportunity to develop confidence within my profession. As a first generation college student, I value the importance of opportunity for all. My passion is to help young women find their voice, develop their leadership qualities, and make valuable connections that will support them in their studies and post-graduation. The Olivet College Women’s Leadership Institute helps young women build self-confidence, and creates a safe space for members to learn about themselves while learning from each other, and I am grateful to be a part of it.

Jamilia Johnson

Women’s Leadership Institute Coordinator/Recruiter, Olivet College

Contact Us

For more scholarship information, please contact Jamilia Johnson at JamJohnson@olivetcollege.edu or 269.749.7667.

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