A graduate of the College of Idaho is 1 of 32 Americans to be named a Rhodes Scholar this year. That means a full ride to Oxford, considered the number one university in the world.
A ceremony took place on campus Wednesday, with lots of smiles and hugs. If you want to call Kaya Evans an overachiever you wouldn't be far off.
The 2021 College of Idaho student graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in political economy while also serving in student government.
"Yeah, it was a little bit of a shock, my hands were shaking," Evans said. "I tried to turn off the zoom call, but I have to tell you it was a great feeling."
Evans was also the captain of the women's soccer team, which went on to win its first conference championship and a berth in the national tournament.
During Evan's senior year, she fractured her nose and dislocated her shoulder. She says she was willing to suffer physically knowing what it would mean mentally.
"Because it was less about the objective we were trying to achieve as a team, more about achieving something together as a team," Evans said. "Every lesson I learned in the classroom at C of I about equality and the sharing of power was reflected back at me on the soccer field."
How big of a deal is this for the College of Idaho? Other schools represented in this 2023 class include the likes of Harvard, Yale, and M.I.T., school co-president Jim Everett explains.
"A lot of them have more resources, they have coaches for Rhode Scholars. We don't have any of that," Everett said. "Kaya gets help mentors we pride ourselves with, she earned it and will represent us so well."
So what kind of advice would Kaya give to your son or daughter who wants to be successful in college?
"To focus on an authentic journey and studying things that you're interested in, that will better you as an individual rather than study things that will maybe be best for their career."