Kassandra Knopf Would Like to Use Her Law Degree to Help Others
Kassandra (Kass) is a 2011 graduate of Randolph Union High School. Kass took a few minutes recently to update us on her life, travels, and thoughts about high school.
“I entered RU with the class of 2012,” she said, “but I was interested in attending a program in Norway so I fast tracked myself to graduate a year early. Following a few months living and traveling in Norway, I ended up at the University of Kansas, where I double majored in English, with a focus on science fiction literature; and East Asian Languages and Cultures, with a Korean focus. This year I am a first-year student at Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC! I have been here a little over a month now and I’m about to campaign for class president. If everything goes a planned, I’ll earn my JD with the class of 2021.”
Following Law School, Kass plans to focus her attention on helping others.
“One day, I’d like to be the first woman of color to become President of the United States,” she said, “but perhaps more realistically, I intend to go into human rights law. I’m not sure exactly in what capacity yet. I’m interested in a number of civil rights-related areas, including immigration and international human rights. It depends on where I end up feeling I could be more effective.”
Like many Alumni, Kass looks back on her years at RU and in Central Vermont fondly, and was glad to share some thoughts about those years.
“I’d have to say ,my experience at RUHS was highlighted by working in the theater program. I started working as a lighting and stage technician in 8th grade for Mr. Rainville, while also volunteering at Chandler Music Hall. I absolutely loved theater. In fact, because of my experience with technical theater in high school, not to mention a few dabbles in acting, I was going to major in theater when I started attending college! I ended up switching majors several times when I realized just how many areas of study college had to offer, and I explored very widely before settling on the ones I graduated with. Even though I ended up moving away from theater as a career path, it still holds a special place in my heart. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunities Mr. Rainville gave us all to work on, act in, and put on those shows.”
“Among my biggest takeaways from RU was, if you want something badly enough, you can accomplish it. I wanted to graduate early to pursue further education elsewhere, so I learned to negotiate with the administration to make a schedule that would fulfill their requirements while getting me what I wanted. The entire RU staff was very helpful in that regard, so I felt encouraged at every step of the process. What I learned was, you have to pursue your goals, even if they don’t fit the standard mold.”
“If I were giving advice to a high school student today,” Kass said, “I’d encourage them just to do what feels right! Find whatever it is that excites them, or gives their life meaning, and then say: okay, that’s where I want to go. What is the first tangible step I can take? If they like sculpture, I’d say go invest in some clay or hang out in the art room! If they love music and composition, find a YouTube tutorial and use the band room and band teacher as resources. If they love telling stories, write them down and share them with friends. You don’t have to invent the next Top 10 app or revolutionize art, you just have to figure out what excites you and start making time for your passions.”
“My path from high school to where I am now took a lot of twists and turns. There is no “right” way to go about your life, and you haven’t failed if you don’t accomplish everything by the time you’re 20. Breathe! You’ll be all right no matter what happens.”