Kenosha native Laura Kaeppeler, a 2010 Carthage graduate, announced the creation of the Laura M. Kaeppeler ‘10 Scholarship Fund to help students in the City of Kenosha with their college education expenses.

Kenoshan of the Week: Laura Kaeppeler

Miss America winner, Carthage grad creates scholarship fund at her alma mater


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Laura Kaeppeler loves her hometown of Kenosha.

The St. Joseph graduate also loved her college experience at Carthage College, graduating in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Music and Vocal Performance.

“Carthage College is such a great school and one of the unique aspects of Carthage is that it is a very small campus and small community,” Kaeppeler said. “Everyone knows one another. You can be very close to your professors and the faculty there. I still have great relationships with a lot of my professors. I’m still in touch with my college dorm roommates and friends that I made at Carthage. The environment really is one that instills that community feel that everyone at Carthage is there together.”

Kenosha’s Laura Kaeppeler was crowned Miss America in 2012.

Recently, the 2012 Miss America winner announced the creation of the Laura M. Kaeppeler ’10 Scholarship Fund to help students in the City of Kenosha with their college education expenses. As a result, Kaeppeler has been selected as the Kenoshan of the Week.

There are eight full-tuition scholarships available for freshmen entering Carthage for the 2022-23 school year, with one named in honor of Kaeppeler’s contributions and commitment to her alma mater. The Laura M. Kaeppeler ’10 Scholarship Fund will serve to bolster the Kenosha Scholarships fund in perpetuity.

“I know the cost of college can be overwhelming for some students and families,” Kaeppeler said. “So, enhancing the Kenosha Scholarship is one small way that I can give back to this amazing community, and help a deserving student.”

The Laura Kaeppeler Kenosha Scholarship, worth more than $125,000, will be awarded each year to a meritorious Kenosha student. The scholarship competition takes place on-campus in January 2022, where prospective Kenosha scholars will complete an essay and have a conversation with Carthage faculty and staff.

To apply, candidates interested in the Kenosha Scholarship Competition must complete the following no later than December 2021:

  • Submit an application for admission to Carthage and supporting materials, including high school transcripts.
  • Submit the Kenosha Scholarship Application (available October 2021).
  • Submit a 250-word essay: Evaluate how a significant experience or achievement in your life has helped shape who you are today (this is part of the online scholarship application).
  • Submit a list of all high school and community organizations and activities (including work) in which you have participated (this is part of the online scholarship application).

The Office of Admissions will review applications and high school transcripts, and qualified applicants will be notified in late December 2021.

To apply and for more information about the Laura Kaeppeler Kenosha Scholarship, visit

Laura Kaeppeler currently co-hosts the “Health Interrupted” podcast with Gina Lombardi.

More about Laura


Favorite thing about Kenosha: Kenosha is such a wonderful place. The people are my most favorite memory of growing up in Kenosha. Kenosha is such a tight knit community with really good people. People talk about the Midwest and the people there as “the salt of the earth.” And that’s really the truth! That is what makes Kenosha the best, and that is my best memory.

First job: My first job was at The Spot Drive-In. I started working there when I was 15 years old, worked there all the way through college and was able to pay my way through school. I first started working inside the restaurant, at the cash register and making ice cream. Eventually I worked as a waitress. I have fond memories of working there.

On performing the national anthem at iconic venues: Those were really great experiences as a vocalist. My goal was to place in the top 10 in Miss America, so that I could sing on national television. And then actually winning and being able to perform across the country at places like Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field and other stadiums across the country was a dream come true. That’s just the icing on the cake for any singer!

Her latest venture: The “Health Interrupted” podcast was created in the middle of a pandemic! My co-host Gina Lombardi and I realized that we were in the middle of the most life changing interruption, as we all were in lockdown. And the more we thought about it and realized – I’m interrupted a thousand times a day as a mother with kids, and she’s interrupted with her life and family and work – it’s a pretty common theme that many people experience. We’re all interrupted in life, and it’s inevitable. But it’s how we pick ourselves up again, and how we use those interruptions to learn and grow to become the biggest, boldest, best version of ourselves.

Favorite fictional hero: Wonder Woman. I mean, as a woman, naturally, it’s a pretty classic answer, but it’s true.

Social media: Follow Laura Kaeppeler on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.