Meet Caleb Lueders '24
This business student passes along a helping hand
Raised in sunny Houston, Texas, Caleb Lueders '24 was drawn to Hamline University for threefold reasons.
First, coaches from Hamline's football team scouted him out on the field, taking an interest in his drive and athleticism. Second, Lueders, a business administration major, was intrigued by the school's reputation in graduating successful business students. And third, Hamline smoothed the road for him as a first-generation college student with an easy admission process and generous financial aid.
"Hamline gave me a lot of financial aid and scholarships—a first generation college student scholarship, a merit scholarship, and grants. I learned that if you ask, they will help," Lueders said. "Everybody here wants you to win. My professors, friends, and teammates—they've always been in my corner."
Even though he began his college years in the depths of early pandemic lockdowns, Lueders found ways to get involved on campus, and he has carried those commitments through for three years. He's a member of Hamline's First Generation Scholars, engaged in the Piper athletics community, and a mentor in the Hand in Hand partnership with Hamline Elementary. Hand-in-Hand mentors meet with their elementary "buddies" every week to bond, build social skills, and foster college readiness.
"As a Hand in Hand mentor, I'm able to be a role model for these kids, they feel like they have a big brother cheering them on. I'm able to give them what I wanted from a brother," Lueders said.
Lueders' motivation to help others comes from "the lack of it in my life," he explained. "I didn't always have the opportunities I have now. When kids know my name and see my work on the field, it makes me smile. I want to bring smiles to other people's days, too."
As a mentor at Hamline Elementary, I'm able to be a role model for these kids, they feel like they have a big brother cheering them on. I'm able to give them what I wanted from a brother.
In and out of class, Lueders finds ways to give back to the community and advance his career in tandem. In one of his management courses, Lueders and his classmates worked with Roseville, Minnesota's Kids In Need Foundation, learning from organizational leaders about the behind-the-scenes work to supply educators and students with the materials they need to teach and learn. In January 2022, he became a leadership coach at Athletes Global Corporation in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, an organization that runs youth mentorship and leadership programs. He leveraged that role into a marketing internship in summer 2022, working in spreadsheets and budgeting for months to help the organization flourish.
"Watching a big project come together at my internship made all my hard work worth it," Lueders said. "I realized I found my passion."
From his mentorship to his work in business marketing, Lueders tries to pass on the lessons he's learned from mentors and colleagues alike.
"Hamline does a great job at encouraging people to be themselves—everyone's so unique and able to showcase their own talents," he said. "Don't apologize for being yourself."
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