Student Spotlight Archive
|Kata Skokoff – Equestrian
She rides like the horse is part of her.
Unlike most of our students, Kata was not born in this country. Her parents are from the former eastern bloc country of Czechoslovakia, but fled to western Europe during the heights of the cold war in the 80s. They moved around from France and Portugal to the United Kingdom, with Kata being born while they were staying in south Wales. They finally moved to the states when she was only six and have been here ever since.
Although she grew up in mostly English speaking countries, Kata was raised in a multi-lingual household and spoke three languages in addition to English by the time she hit high school. As such, she continued learning in that direction and has gone on to become fluent in two more, as well as passable in three others. She plans on going into international communication and hopes to one day use these talents to work at the United Nations as a translator.
None of that has anything to do with why she was chosen for this spotlight. Her love of horses and amazing skill with them are what brought her to our attention.
She was quickly accepted by the horse and stable owners, mostly looked at as a good luck charm or mascot, but as she aged and started training horses, she became more than that to all of them. Even as a young teen she was one of the most sought after trainers in the region and was making good money for her family, even allowing her to get some horses of her own. By the time she was sixteen, she had her own small stable and enough money saved up to pay for her college.
If she had wanted to she could have skipped out on college altogether and just continued to build her business, but she knew she wanted to do more with her life than that. Although she loved horses and knew they would be a part of her life forever, she didn't see them as her whole life and wanted to go to college to figure out what else was out there for her.
After looking at hundreds of possible schools around the nation, and even a few overseas, she finally settles on our little college here in the northwest. When asked why she chose this place she said it mostly had to do with three factors: A good Equestrian program (so she wouldn't have to be away from her horses), A wide variety of quality educational programs (so she could see what she wanted to do with her life), and it's very far away from her family (which she wouldn't say more about).
Having worked out some special deal with the college so she could bring two of her own horses with her, she didn't have to completely leave her old world behind. At first she spent most of her time with them, taking care of them and making sure the grounds were good enough for them, but once she was satisfied with everything she started to spread out and find new interests.
She spent the second half of her freshman year experimenting with the arts, but didn't find anything to truly be to her liking. She then tried out journalism and the sciences, but was soon beginning to question if she made a mistake, as the horses continued to be what she truly loved. Then she learned about languages and their uses in politics and international relations. That was the start of her new direction in life.
Having grown up speaking multiple languages she never really thought about it as a job opportunity. But once her eyes were opened to the possibilities of how they could be used, she realized that it was the other thing she truly loved. Perhaps even more than working with horses.
|Our photographer had left by then, but I was able to sit down and learn most of what you read about above. She was so sweet and open about it that we ended up talking for about three hours in total. She is a wonderful woman and if you ever get a chance to spend some time with her, you should take it.
If you don't get the opportunity to speak to her on a personal level, you can always catch her at each and every one of the equestrian shows the campus puts on and often at most of the competitions in the region. She may have chosen a different direction for her career, but she's never going to stop being the amazing horseman she is. Even if it just becomes her hobby.
Last modified on 2013/9/15 by Admin