Contributing Writer: Kathleen Regalado | Images: Kathryn Coates
Meet Kathryn Coates!
She is the first of many more Osbourn Alumni to be featured in CCN’s new Spotlight! segment. We will be covering individuals who have different careers, but they will all have at least one thing in common-they graduated from Osbourn High School.
Kathryn graduated OHS in Spring 2011. She spent her time in high school playing field hockey, lacrosse and running track and became a vegetarian to start eating healthier. Being on sports teams taught her the importance of team working skills, commitment and embracing diversity.
Kathryn attended Old Dominion University (ODU) and while studying, she volunteered to help a Ph D. student in South Africa write a thesis on elephant behavior. While earning class credit, Kathryn experienced an “eye-opening lifestyle” and this volunteer work eventually inspired her to study wildlife in college so she switched out of her nursing program to follow her dream of working with animals. Kathryn mentioned that everywhere she looked she could see: cows and sheep roaming; firewood blazing; and hand-built houses made from natural resources. Kathryn stated that “after witnessing South Africa and comparing it to the American lifestyle, both were very different”.
In addition to working in South Africa, Kathryn Coates volunteered in Florida and taught English literacy to adults from all over the world through Americorps. Did you know that Americorps pays $6,000 of tuition to those who volunteer.
Continuing her love for animals and wildlife, Kathryn has flown to Peru to volunteer for the Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), which are farms that don’t use herbicides pesticides or GMO’s. She has an interest in nutrition and the organic lifestyle. As part of her Master’s program, Kathryn researched the impacts of traditional and organic farms in Northern Nicaragua, and said it was a “very hands on experience”.
Future plans include possibly teaching Biology as a professor at a university or becoming a wildlife veterinarian. Kathryn also says that if she were to revisit Osbourn High School now, she would catch up Mr. Emmanuel, past CCN sponsor who is now retired, as well as Mr. Shultz, Mr. McKlesky, and Mr. Riley.
Kathryn Coates advice to current and future OHS Students is to: “ Take advantage of the college and career center, but also research programs to further your experience and career choice options on your own. Be sure to experience options before college because experiences build up and help you find what you like. Don’t be afraid to fail and try new things.”
If you would like to contact Kathryn Coates to ask her questions about her volunteer work and education, contact her on her Facebook page.