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Brooke Hilgenkamp


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In my life, animals play a strong role. My family owns a commercial dairy and I participate in 4-H, showing dairy and beef cattle. This has led me to pursue a career in veterinary science and become a large and small animal veterinarian. I would also like to assist at my family's dairy and run my own commercial beef operation. I am hard-working and very dedicated to my studies. I participate in cross-country, track and field, band, student council, National Honor Society, and FFA, and I am active in my church. In FFA, I have held several officer positions, including Secretary (2021-2022), Student Advisor (2022-2023), and Vice President (2023-2024). I am president of Student Council and National Honor Society, and I have served as Class President for three years. I was on the state-qualifying cross-country team in 2021, and I have medaled at state FFA for three years now, including third in Agriscience (2021), second in Livestock Evaluation - Junior Division (2022), eighth in Vet Science (2023), and first in Livestock Evaluation - Senior Division (2023). I have worked full-time at Verner Veterinary Clinic in Fremont, Nebraska for two years.


Arlington High School

High School
2020 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Majors of interest:

    • Agricultural/Animal/Plant/Veterinary Science and Related Fields, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Veterinary Anatomical Pathologist

    • Veterinary Assistant

      Verner Veterinary Clinic
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Took care of dairy cattle and assisted in crop production.

      Family farm
      2021 – Present3 years


    Track & Field

    2020 – Present4 years

    Cross-Country Running

    2021 – Present3 years


    • 5th Team at Nebraska State Cross Country


    2020 – 20211 year


    2020 – Present4 years


    • Arlington High School Band

      2020 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      St. Paul's Lutheran Church — Chose and took care of plants.
      2017 – Present

    Future Interests



    Inguz Memorial Scholarship
    There’s no question that cows have my heart. It is easy to see why, considering I have grown up on a commercial dairy farm. There has always just been something about their deep brown eyes and generally, easy demeanor that has drawn me in. I love standing in the middle of a lot and waiting for the curious calves to come up slowly, inch by inch, wondering what this strange creature is in their home. I cannot help but laugh at the tickle of their tongue when they lick me but run away once I make a noise. Each animal has an individual personality, some are mellow while others have a wild streak that will send you flying for the gate if you do not feed them fast enough. They are animals that I learn something new with every time I am around them and I am sure I will spend the rest of my life trying to figure them out. Because of this early upbringing and my love for cattle, I quickly became heavily involved in 4-H. Every summer, I would bring my show calves to my house and spend the hot nights walking and washing them. So far, it is the best form of stress relief I have found. I learned discipline and how to not give up even when the calf will not work. I continued to further my involvement in agricultural organizations when I joined FFA in eighth grade. There, I was able to show my animals on a different level while also competing in different animal-centered events. So far, my favorite FFA events have been livestock judging, veterinary science, and livestock management. These events have taught me so many skills, from how to restrain animals in a clinical setting, herd management, and how to evaluate the quality of livestock. They have given me a different perspective on the agricultural industry from the small agricultural bubble I grew up in with cattle and crops. It never took much extra influence or experience to convince myself I wanted to be a veterinarian. From the age of five, I had already declared I would be a veterinarian, much to the credit of growing up on a farm and our large animal veterinarian. He was honest with me about the challenges of being a veterinarian, but also how rewarding it was. Now, he is one of the main reasons I was able to earn acceptance to the Veterinary Scholars Early Admission Program at the Kansas State Veterinary College, saving me a spot in the veterinary program once I complete two years of undergraduate studies. But an interaction that solidified my want to be a veterinarian was the loss of my beloved cow, my relationship with I could only describe as a soul connection. She was the calf out of an earlier show cow, and she showed me how much love a cow can give you. When we were in the show ring it was like no one else was there. But later, she got sick, with lung abscesses. I was forced to watch her slowly deteriorate, knowing I could not do anything. For all she had done for me, I could not save her. That was the hardest part. It solidified my desire to be a veterinarian, if not to save her, to at least ease her suffering. So one day I can help the helpless little girl who just wants to save her best friend and give her peace knowing she did everything possible, and in the end, to know that she did the right thing.
    Loxy Burckhard Love is Kind Memorial Scholarship
    Every time it downpours, the earthworms come out. They crawl toward the surface in an attempt to save their lives, only to be unaware of the danger to come. After the rain, the sun always comes out. The earthworms start to dry out, whether it’s on the pavement or on the gravel of our driveway. It is hard not to find compassion for these creatures as they lay littered on the ground. I cannot help but go around to each earthworm, scoop up the ones still clinging to life, and return them safely to the grass, occasionally after rehydrating them. In this way, I strive to show love in kind actions. I possess a fierce love for nature. I feel that God has created such a breathtaking world that there is nothing else to do but love it. This appreciation has given me a soft spot for all creatures, big and small. I stop for the squirrels on the road and take the time after my shifts at the veterinary clinic to give each dog a small treat before I leave. I believe to show love is to be kind, because what is love in the absence of kindness? I demonstrate my love for the beautiful world God has created by being kind to the creatures and organisms within it. It is my way of showing appreciation and gratitude for this gift. I have always been a person with a perhaps unusual amount of empathy for all things. Maybe it is because I have a deep heart with a lot of love to give, even to those who may not deserve it, or maybe it is because I try to live by example and show God’s unending love for all creatures. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Therefore, I love deeply because God is love, and to show love is to be kind. On my cross country team, I make a point to talk to the middle schoolers. It may not seem like a lot, a few questions about their run, and listening to their exciting stories, but I know at my age that these types of interactions meant the world to me. I love the sport and the way it accepted me into its family, so I try to give back what it has given me by showing kindness to the younger kids. I hope they can develop a love for the sport, grow up to be great leaders, and be role models for the kids below them like I tried to do for them. In the future, I hope to emulate the love and kindness my grandmother shows for the world. She demonstrates a love so deep for everyone that I know she would do anything for me, even give me the shirt off her back. She is selfless and shows kindness to everyone. She taught me what love truly means, and it is shown in her actions towards others. Not only does she show kindness for humans, but also animals too. She feeds all the cats, birds, and squirrels all around the farm, taking time out of her day to care for them. I hope to give back this kindness and love in my future occupation as a large and small animal veterinarian. I want to heal the sick and comfort the distressed. I want to be a servant of Christ and reflect His love for me by volunteering for others. To love is to be kind because, without kindness, love ceases to exist.
    3Wishes Women’s Empowerment Scholarship
    A discussion in my history class caught my attention. As we discussed the Reformation of the Catholic Church and the increase of women's roles in the church, my teacher asked the males in the class if they believe women should be involved in the economy. He included the fact that women make up over half of the world population. As this discussion continued, I wondered, "Why should men get to decide if women are involved in the economy or not?" I also wondered, "Why are men being allowed to make this decision in the first place, and where did this power of decision even come from?" This simple discussion demonstrated the natural disparities women are burdened with. Women should be empowered and enabled to demand equal rights and the same opportunities as men. The increasing importance and roles of women in this society are amazing to see, though there is still much work to be done. I believe society can most effectively empower women by allowing them to begin with the same opportunities as men and achieve the same potential as them. Women should also be informed of these opportunities and actively encouraged to seek them out. The true meaning of the childhood saying, "You can be anything you want to be when you grow up," should not only apply to white males. Young girls should also be encouraged to vivaciously demand and advocate for equal rights and opportunities. These girls can then grow up and become women who are informed of what they deserve and do not accept things as they are. They can grow up and be advocates and leaders that create change and build a more equal society and world. Young boys should not be encouraged or observe behavior that institutes the belief that men are better than women. The future of the world begins with young children. The phrase, "Monkey see, monkey do," can be used to display how generational thinking and ideology have affected the world we live in today. Disparities between men and women is an issue that has been fought for a very long time. This issue has not been resolved yet because it not only requires individuals to modify and reform their thinking and values, it also calls for change in groups' cultures and everyday life. This issue can also be hard to solve when there is a lack of women representatives and women in government to advocate for women's rights and create fundamental change. I believe that women should have just as equal of power and influence in government as men. The issue of women's rights and equal opportunities in every aspect of life is becoming a more prevalent topic of discussion, not only in government, but also in schools, workplaces, at home, and among groups of people. This issue will not be resolved unless both genders unite to create change. Both genders need to understand the other in order to create lasting and influential change that will improve the lives of future generations and women all over the world.
    Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    If you were to place one hundred random people in a room and ask how many of them struggle with mental health, you could easily find several individuals who answer that question with a yes. Mental health is a growing issue in our society, especially as we emerge from the pandemic and isolation. A practical solution for helping people who struggle with mental health is increasing advocacy and opportunities for help but also showing those with mental health that it is okay to get help and it is normal to struggle with these things. As our society warms up to the idea of openly discussing mental health, more people are sharing their experiences on popular platforms, especially TikTok. These types of platforms can be used to spread advocacy. Many therapists have their own accounts where they share tips and information about mental health. These informational posts can help to spread awareness and help individuals to find outlets for help. They can also help to demonstrate to individuals who are struggling with mental health how prevalent the issues are, even though no individuals' experiences are the same. Places of education regularly are in contact with students and play a large role in these students' lives. These institutes can be used to provide readily available and accessible help for individuals struggling with mental health. Students regularly deal with very stressful experiences and should be provided with help to cope with these experiences. Mental health is no joking matter. It affects so many groups of people and can go completely unnoticed. This is why we need to provide opportunities for assistance to help prevent things like suicide. Mental health is a growing issue and should be regarded at the same level as physical health.
    Bold Deep Thinking Scholarship
    I believe the biggest problem facing the world right now is the divide between groups of people. In my own school, I have witnessed racist, homophobic, and sexist incidents frequently. This problem cannot be escaped by anyone at any age; at some point, everyone must face the fact and make their decision on how they will interpret and feel about this issue. I have witnessed how organizations, especially schools, ignore racist, homophobic and sexist incidents or try to cover up the prevalence of the incidents. My school especially does not do enough to address, inform, and prevent these incidents from occurring. This does not help to solve the problem in any way, it only encourages and increases the prevalence of these incidents. One way to address and work on this problem would be informing children at a very young that these occurrences are not okay and do not reflect that inappropriate behavior. Children tend to observe older individuals and base their values and behavior on what they observe. If we can set a standard for children at a young age that these racist, homophobic, and sexist behaviors are not okay, we can begin to prevent them at a later age. Even though there are very clearly many problems facing the world right now, I believe the biggest problem is the occurrence of racist, homophobic, and sexist events. If the world as a society would like to progress to be a more unified and equal society, I believe these events need to stop. These events prevent teamwork and build prejudices between others.