Signal Theory, in partnership with The BrandLab, awarded its 2023 Resonance Scholarship to two area college students during The BrandLab KC’s first-ever gala event, Stride. The scholarship award was part of a full evening celebrating progress toward more equitable standards in advertising and marketing. The night included a keynote speaker, a student panel discussing their BrandLab experience, and community and alumni awards.
Amy Truong, a junior majoring in marketing at Kansas State University, and Aliya Kisivo, a freshman majoring in journalism with an emphasis on strategic communications at the University of Kansas, will each receive $5,000 and a paid internship at Signal Theory.
“We’re looking forward to helping Amy and Aliya explore their path forward in the marketing and advertising industry,” said John January, co-CEO of Signal Theory. “Now that the Resonance Scholarship is in its third year, we are beginning to see how much we will all benefit from our interactions with the students joining us through this program.”
Truong grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, and attended Blue Valley Northwest High School. A 4.0 student at K-State, she is working toward a degree in marketing as well as certificates in marketing technology and data analytics. Truong is a member of the KSU Women in Business Club and Tri-Alpha, the National Honor Society for first-generation college students.
“Receiving the Resonance Scholarship means I don’t have to worry so much about having to work all the time,” said Truong. “It also helps instill a little bit of confidence, because I’m my own biggest critic. To see a lot of people acknowledge the work I’ve put in feels really good.”
Kisivo grew up in Shawnee, Kansas, where she attended Mill Valley High School. Kisivo, a first-generation American, serves as secretary of the KU Ad Club and is on the board of the KU Black Student Union. She started a podcast as a way to talk about diversity issues in hopes of building open dialogue.
“This scholarship means a lot,” she said. “It means me as a person of color being recognized by these amazing companies, but it also means getting financial help for college and hopefully graduating without debt. That would be amazing.”
The Signal Theory/BrandLabKC Partnership
The BrandLab empowers young people from Indigenous, Black, Brown, AAPI and Hispanic/Latinx backgrounds to launch sustainable careers in thriving workplaces of creativity, inclusivity and belonging. Their work focuses around four pillars: exposure, access, opportunity and equity.
“The Resonance Scholarship is part of our opportunity pillar, as it allows participation in higher- education opportunities that traditionally have not been as accessible to young people of color as to the dominant culture in the industry,” said Kelli Williams, CEO of The BrandLab.
Williams says that because the scholarship can be used for more than tuition, it removes barriers some students of color may face in obtaining a higher education and internship.
“Time in a college classroom is time young people can’t spend working and generating income for living expenses,” she said. “We’re excited to have a strong partnership with Signal Theory that allows The BrandLab KC to provide a scholarship that applies to more than tuition and breaks down some of those barriers young people going to college may have.”