Katie Keith | Faces of Midland
Were it not for a last-minute change of heart, Katie Keith’s college journey would have looked much different.
A senior Exercise Science major from Gretna, Nebraska, Katie thought her education path would lead her to Lincoln, not Fremont. “I committed to UNL in December of my senior year. I don’t know what led me to do it, but that following March, I called the cheer coach at Midland and told him that the only thing keeping me from Midland was the ability to cheer. Once he told me he had a scholarship for me, I was ecstatic.
“I think I committed to UNL because that’s where all my family had graduated from, but I needed to do something for myself and not everyone around me. I had to forfeit all my deposits, but it was worth it because this was clearly the right decision for me.”
Katie said she felt a special connection to Midland early on, and that connection has remained through four years. “As soon as I got here, I quickly made friends and adapted to the environment. Having smaller classes, and advisors, coaches, and professors who cared, helped me through the process.”
What also helped was getting involved on campus. Along with being a student and part of the cheer squad, Katie immersed herself into campus life her freshman year by becoming an Admissions Ambassador, a role she has held for four years. Eventually, she would also become part of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and would serve in various roles for her sorority, Pi Epsilon. She was also one of 14 Midland students selected in December as a Who’s Who recipient, which recognizes students for their academic achievement, service to their community, and leadership in co-curricular activities.
“I’m very busy, so Google Calendar has been my best friend. My sophomore year is when I really started to get involved, and that opportunity was game-changing for me.”
She has especially enjoyed her role as an Ambassador, giving assistance to prospective students who, like her, want to be a part of the Midland experience. “I have built so many great connections through the Ambassador program. It’s a great feeling when you see prospective students who you gave a tour to now deciding to make Midland their home. I saw the difference I was making, and it made me feel good and that I was doing something positive for Midland.”
With graduation just around the corner, Katie is taking steps to prepare for the next chapter of her journey. She has completed three different internships during her time at Midland, helping her get a jumpstart on a career she hopes someday involves being an occupational therapist. “I’m looking for a job in a rehabilitation setting; then, I am potentially looking at graduate school. My top choice right now is that I want to be able to work with kids.”
As she looks back, Katie has no regrets about that random phone call and making a decision that would prove to be life-changing. “I have received all the resources I’ve needed to succeed both academically and athletically. Everyone has been so supportive and has made me feel like I belong. The memories I’ve made, and the people I’ve met, have made me realize I made the right choice.”
Katie Keith is a senior Exercise Science major from Gretna, Nebraska. To share your story or nominate a friend, email firstname.lastname@example.org or post using #FacesofMidland.