Kassidee Bates - Oregon Interview by Claire Plath Nomination and Photography by Rachel Williams Photography Issue 29 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Kassidee Bates is an amazing softball athlete as well as a devoted horseman and competitor. She will be attending Southern Utah University, majoring in Exercise Science GPA- 3.93 Honor Roll 4 yrs Path for honors diploma 1st team all-league catcher 2 years 2nd team all-state Junior year, nominee for Sr yr Dist. Champion for Ohset in Barrel racing, Pole bending, Birangle, Team flags, as well as District High Point for Gaming. Representative for McMinnville Ohset Kassidee is also job shadowing in multiple medical facilities. She is an active volunteer in, Stuff the Bus, Ladies Night Out. She also offers catching lessons for youth sports.
Photography by Rachel Williams Photography
What are some things you love most about playing softball while also being a devoted horseman, and what have you accomplished through being involved in both? Softball and horses have both taught me how to become a dedicated and hard-working person. I love how they are both very competitive and require me to put in extra hours outside of the normal practice. They both differ from one another in many aspects, horses require a strong bond with the animal you ride, while softball is building a relationship and trust with those you play with. I have accomplished a hard-working mentality through both meaning I have benefited from them in other ways. The friendships I have made through both are some I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Tell me about your passion for animals and how it has impacted the person you are today. I started off living in town when I was younger, riding horses whenever I could. Originally when I was younger, I wanted to become a vet due to my love for all animals and I became very devoted to them. I started doing 4-H with dogs, which taught me a lot about patience and gave me an introduction into what I would be doing in the future with horses. When I got my first horse, I was ecstatic. As one might know, horses come with a lot of responsibility. I was taught to clean stalls, saddle horses, feed, and simply take care of an animal of that size. Learning these interactions has taught me how to become a more understanding person. An animal is unable to speak meaning understanding little messages is something that is very important in owning them. My love for animals has made me a more compassionate person; and I am very grateful for this. I hope everybody can find a love for animals because they will become your best friend, and this is something everybody deserves to have in their life.
Photography by Rachel Williams Photography
How have you been able to overcome many obstacles to ultimately achieve your goals in life? Everything I have done in my life hasn’t come to me easily. School and sports have required a lot of work from me. One thing I have been working on is juggling school and sports; I play competitive softball, and this involves traveling to multiple states to play in tournaments. I miss a lot of school and with my intense class load I have to study a lot and work on homework whenever I have down time. In the horse aspect I have had to learn to overcome the judgement. The horse world is something not many people get into at a late age, meaning proving yourself is very difficult. I have had to work very hard with what I have in order to become competitive, and I am grateful for what I have been given. When I started, I would not have pictured myself become the rider I am now; one example would be my ability to train horses. I have a 3-year-old horse who I have trained from a young colt. This was a big challenge for me since we did not buy him from a typical breeder, we actually rescued him from a large ranch with a rescue organization here. Around 30 horses were seized, and none have had any human contact in their lives. This was a huge obstacle and gaining their trust require multiple months of hard work. Fast forward a few years and both horses are mostly trained and can be ridden and are on the path to being completely trained.
What do you look forward to the most about attending Southern Utah University in the future, and what do you plan to major in? My first thought when I toured Southern Utah was “this is where I want to spend the next four years of my life”. The campus atmosphere is something I haven’t seen at any other school. Everybody is very welcoming and even though it is a decently large school, knowing a lot of people isn’t hard. The student involvement also intrigued me. The location is also extremely beautiful and very central. Las Vegas is two hours away and the very famous Zion National Park is only a short drive. My desired major is Physical Therapy and with this SUU has one of the top programs for helping me get into graduate school. With a lot of research, I discovered I could transfer to the University of Utah to get my Doctorate in Physical Therapy program immediately after graduating. This is very beneficial and will save me a lot of time.
Photography by Kimberly Gambel
How have you devoted your time to volunteering to help others through your own passions? I have learned a lot through my time playing softball, which has led to me giving lessons to youth catchers. I started giving lessons when I was 15 and have been doing them ever since. I consider this my way of giving back to the sport and helping the younger generation reach their dreams. I have about ten girls who I give lessons to weekly and seeing them progress and learn is very inspiring to me; knowing that my knowledge is benefiting them is very uplifting. I’ve noticed the mark I have left in my community and it really pushes me to become a better person. Playing for my high school has really helped me in diving into the youth programs around the community and I’ve really learned from this. Softball has also given me the chance to volunteer at a dinner called the Crab Feed which is a fundraiser for high school sports. Knowing that my contribution helps not only my sport, but everybody else’s too makes it completely worth it.
Photography by McMinnville OHSET
How has your academic and athletic involvement, along with your love for animals influenced your life positively as a role model to others? I like to believe I am a role model to those I give lessons to. I don’t only teach about catching fundamentals, but I also teach the girls about life experiences. I like them to understand how sports can make you a better person and to cherish this experience. With horses I have let multiple people around the community ride and learn about equine life. Informing others about horses and what owning them is really like is something I really enjoy. Not many people fully grasp the difficulties that come with owning a farm and teaching the community about this is something I strive to do. Many people know me around the town as the local softball catcher/ horse girl. With this name, I can reach out to a wide variety of people and motivate them to try different things. Being a role model to the youth is something I do not take lightly; I have to make sure I stay strong in all the things I do in order to keep up with my reputation. Going towards the academic side, I have been known as a strong student in all my classes. I am taking a class called AVID, which since Freshman year has taught me how to apply for college. Within this class I like to believe I am a role model to some; this class has a wide variety of students with intense life stories and I have really been impacted by this. In this class, we can help others with studying and homework, and since I am taking many AP classes I am able to help others succeed in their classes.
Kassidee will be featured in Issue 29 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!