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Future dietitian inspired by her love for the art of eating well

Katie V. 250[E]ver since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with health and fitness. At the tender age of eight, one of my greatest pleasures was waking up early before school and working out with the fitness shows on television. Yes, I was a strange child, but a passionate one.

As I grew older, I learned that nutrition is the foundation of our health. We must build a strong foundation if we want our bodies to be sturdy and strong. I have spent years reading about nutrition and developing a love for the art of eating well. Despite my overwhelming passion, it only occurred to me in recent years that I could base my career around such a thing. I then realized that this was what I wanted to do with my life. In short, I want to be a dietitian.

Of course, becoming a dietitian is not exactly a walk through the park. It requires schooling, and that can be pricey. My first college experience was expensive, to say the least. Though I received help from my parents, the financial burden eventually became too much, and the experience was, disappointingly, cut short.

After a few years of regrouping, and realizing that I could make a living doing what I love, I have taken the necessary steps to return to school. It has been a bit of a balancing act as I am now an adult, living on my own, paying my way through life. Even less prepared to pay for school than my parents were ten years earlier, I have found it to be my greatest challenge. For the past year, I have been living the life of a full-time student, as well as, a full-time adult. Being a 30-year-old student is a far cry from being a 21-year-old in the same boat. All-night study sessions are a lot more difficult when you have to be at work the next morning, and sure, that ten-page paper is due on the first, but so is rent. Somehow I have managed to pay the bills, buy my books, and keep my grades up all at the same time.

With one year left to go, I am proud of how far I have come. Graduating with a nutrition degree will finally give me the chance to practice what I love. It will finally give me a chance to pursue my passion and spread that passion to others. I am excited at the thought of finally earning my degree, but I am also excited at the thought of walking out of college with the knowledge and training to do my job well. I plan to approach the next chapter of my life with the passion and enthusiasm with which I have always approached everything. Like an 8-year-old working out to “Body by Jake” before school, I will love every minute of it!

We are proud to announce Katie Vittal is one of the current JustJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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37 comments

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  • Katie is an amazing woman!! I have known her for many years, and there is not a more deserving person out there. She chases her dreams passionately and with a determination that few possess. I am so proud to count her among my good friends, and am excited for her future. I believe she should be awarded this scholarship not just for because of financial need, but because her character and desire to be the best dietitian ever prove she would put it to good use.

  • Katie deserves to get this scholarship 100%. What she says about her passion for fitness and nutrition is entirely the truth. She has always worked hard to improve her fitness and health but what makes her really worthy of the scholarship and shows her dedication is that she is always learning more. She takes the initiative to research new things both in nutrition and fitness to make sure she is doing what’s smart. There’s a lot of methods out there and not all of them are the best, and some can even have negative effects. She makes sure to avoid those things through proper research, and if she tries something that doesn’t work then she changes it. That’s what makes her an excellent candidate for this scholarship. Just as she said in her essay she has a passion for what she is studying, and if the goal is to give the scholarship to someone that will use it to the fullest, to learn everything they can then she is the clear choice.

  • Katie is one of the nicest people I know. She always puts others first and never ask for anything in return. School, work what ever it is she does her best. That is why she deserves this. It would go a long way in helping her to help others.

  • Katie is one of the hardest workers I know! She works full-time hours, studies full-time, and is a full-time friend as well. I only wish her the best and I know she is going to be a great and dedicated nutritionist wherever her career takes her.

  • Katie is so full of empathy and concern for others that people around her can’t help but feel it. She’s genuine, funny, and hardworking—it’s impossible for her not to bring those qualities into her future career. Investing in Katie now is an investment in the future health of any community that she comes in contact with.

  • Good Luck Katie! I’m sure you are still as deticated and hard working as you were in high school! I wish you the best. You certainly deserve the scholarship!

  • Katie deserves this scholarship, she is hard working, caring, funny, always put others before her and is one of the greatest friends that I know! I’m very proud of you Katie! Love you!

  • Katie’s passion for life makes her an excellent candidate for this scholarship. She is constantly trying to improve herself, her goals, and share her knowledge with everyone that is interested. What makes her special is that she trys to motivate people that want her help and would benefit from it but have a hard time getting started. This is where her strong dedication to people and their needs shows she can rise to the challenges she will face in her future career as a dietitian. This scholarship will enable her to keep moving forward in her quest to change how we all look at nutition and fitness and help her make the positive changes in the world that will help us all. I wish her all the luck and success she deserves.

  • I have known Katie since the sixth grade. During the entire time that I’ve known Katie she has always been an honest, genuinely nice, caring person. On top of that, she has always been academically driven. I remember when most of us were goofing off in class, she was always diligently working. I really could not think of a person who deserves this more than Katie. She has always been the type of person who gives 100%. Not only do I think she deserves it, I feel like she has earned it. I have often seen her study well past 3 AM, then turn around and work a full days work, followed by class in the evening. I can honestly say that I don’t think I could do that. Her passion for nutrition is 100% sincere. Many choose a profession based on how much money they will make, but Katie is genuinely passionate about nutrition and all she really wants to do is help people. Katie is eager to finish school and begin her career, and I believe that when she does she will have a huge impact on people’s lives. That is why I feel that Katie should be given this scholarship. Thank you.

  • That is great Katie! You gotta love what you do…after reading this, there is no doubt that you will succeed…Congrats on having the courage to go back to school and manage life at the same time…it sounds like you have great supporters and that’s a big plus…as long as you know where you are going, you’ll get there.

  • Katie has always been sweet and dedicated to whatever she was doing. She is not only beautiful on the outside but she is also beautiful on the inside. I know that she would be the best at anything she sets her heart to, and being a very excellent nutritionist is her number one goal. She deserves this scholarship.

  • Wonderful essay, it is inspiring to see how you have worked so hard to reach your goals. I am sure with your passion will be able to help many others in life.

  • Katie is one of the brightest, hardest working women I know. I can’t summarize her qualifications for this scholarship any better than Philip Quinn did–good luck Katie! <3

  • Simply put, Katie is a marvel! She has worked very hard to get to this point and with the help of this scholarship she can obtain her goal of helping people. She has always had a big heart to go with her big smile. She is very deserving of this scholarship and I am very proud of her! Good luck Katie!

  • I feel Katie would be the perfect recipient of this scholarship. She has found something that she is very compassionate about and has dedicated herself to being the best Dietician that she can be. As long as I have known Katie, she always put her full effort, and some, into everything she does. She loves to share her wealth of knowledge, and we all can benefit in some way towards a healthier lifestyle. She is such a pleasure to be around and you feel her passion for nutrition and know that she will have a huge impact on peoples lives. I am excited for Katie and wish her much success!!!

  • It is very clear, just by reading Katie’s essay, that she has a passion for her education. Having the privilege to know her, I know first hand what that passion looks like. There is nobody that works harder. Between full time school and full time work, she has been putting 110% into this endeavor for the past several years. I am sure that there are many students deserving of this scholarship. However, if you are looking for someone with the integrity and work ethic to make the most of it, then Katie Vittal stands above the rest. Good luck, Katie! You certainly deserve this scholarship.

  • Katie is a hard working young woman with integrity and a strong commitment to helping others achieve their goals. I respect and admire her commitment to achieving her educational and professional goals. We will all benefit from Katie’s knowledge and practice in the field of nutrition and dietary discipline.
    Kudos, Katie!

  • Katie is the perfect candidate for this scholarship. She has always had a passion for nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. She continues to show this passion as she works very hard balancing school, work, and all of the responsibilities adult students face. She will make a great dietitian when she completes her schooling and begins helping others live better lives through a healthier lifestyle. There is no candidate more deserving than Katie for this scholarship.

  • I have to start out by saying there is no one more deserving of this scholarship opportunity then Katie. I remember when she made her decision to go back to school full time and obtain a degree and have a professional career in Nutrition! I couldn’t have been more excited for her because I knew this was Katie’s niche, her passion, that special thing that drives her to never stop learning and growing. Of course this would be a challenge working full time and balancing a full class load, but she is doing and doing it with flying colors. I am so proud of her and will be forever her cheerleader! Nutrition, fitness, & a healthy life style embodies who she is and will become. I am truly inspired by her passion of nutrition, how she approaches each situation, and applies her learnings whenever she can: she lights up when she learns anything new and is always eager & excited to share her findings and insights with me. Not to mention she has taught me quite a bit since we met as well as helped encourage, inspire and change all of my eating habits. This degree will provide the necessary education and tools for Katie to become an expert in her field and will continue to educate her self while having a successful career helping others live a healthier, cleaner lifestyle. Not many people get to do what they love in a professional career and Katie does. Winning this scholarship it will greatly help out financially, and of course Katie will make a wonderful representative of this award! Go Kate Go!!!!!

  • Spring semester 2015, I had Katie in my Chinese 291 course, which was required for all students participating in the 2015 Benedictine University Pollination Project (https://bucpp.wordpress.com). Katie did exemplary work in the class consistently, from her weekly assignments (news summaries and response papers) to her final research paper. She does excellent synopses of readings, writes extremely well, and offered original insights into readings and topics of discussion. Academically, she excelled in a course that has nothing to do with her major. Her performance in the class impressed me very much, especially since it was a demanding course. On this basis alone, she is most deserving of a scholarship.

    But from 20 May to 11 June, I also had the opportunity to be in China with Katie as she did research on pollinators in China. It was a pleasure to have her along on the trip. Katie is open to other cultures, sensitive to cultural differences, perceptive in other environments, and was a joy to have along during our time there. So her strengths are not merely academic. She possesses many fine personal qualities, too, that make her an exceptional candidate for this award. I therefore give her my strongest recommendation.

  • Katie is the most vibrant person I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet by chance. On a vacation in Austin, Tx, a friend asked me to show her around, as she was a visitor and he had to work. To my amazement she was able and willing to walk through Barton Springs, Zeigler Park, the Botanical gardens and mount Bonnell, without hesitation or showing any sort of fatigue. I fell in love with her openness and passion for a good and healthy life. The hours we spent, walking, talking, hydrating and snacking were the best way to get to know someone. I hope she gets the scholarship she’s looking for! Everyone can benefit from the advice and experience Katie can share.

  • Katie is amazing. Hard working, open-minded, hillarious, she truly is the whole package! She is also one of the most genuine people I’ve had pleasure of knowing. She will succeed and make a difference in this world through nutrition.

  • Katie Vittal definately deserves this scholarship. She has always had a passion for eating healthy and making healthy lifestyle choices. Katie is such a sweet, caring person and she always gives her all and is very dedicated to everything she does. She would be an excellent candidate for the scholarship! Good Luck Katie!!!

  • Such a great and inspiring story Katie! I wish you the best of luck and perseverance in reaching your future goals. You are smart and beautiful person who works very hard to persue a carrier of a diatitian.You truly deserve this scholarship and I hope you’ll get it.

  • Since I’ve known Katie, she’s worked two jobs, gone to school full time and has studied abroad in pursuit of her goal of becoming a nutritionist. Nutrition is more than just a passion to her. It’s also her lifestyle. I can think of no one more deserving of a scholarship to obtain the education in order to help her fulfill her life long aspiration and future career. This not only helps Katie, but the many she will be helping when she enters her profession.

  • Katie is a kind, compassionate, and inspiring human being! She dives into life in a way that is so refreshing! She has always had a joy and love for eating well and loves to inspire others to be more intentional when making decisions that correspond to what they are putting into their bodies and how well they are maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle. From moving to Hawaii to experience a new mindset on life, to taking up opportunities to travel to China to study and further better understand the bio and agricultural world that our food depends on, Katie is a life long learner and a life loving enthusiast! Passionate and dedicated, she only deserves the best so that she can give her best to those around her! I know Katie is is excited to finish her education process and would be an excellent choice for scholarship.

  • I have known Katie for about 15 years and I truly believe she deserves this scholarship more than anyone. Ever since I was little, I was astonished by her healthy choices of eating. Of course with me being younger, I was shocked she would pick a salad over a burger and fries, but now as I am older and an athlete, I continuously sit and wish I could make the choice of a salad as easily as she had. Katie has always been an older sister to me. She is very kind and compassionate and always strives for the best. I know when Katie sets her mind to something, she brings her heart along with it and goes above and beyond to reach her goals.

  • Katie is one of the most dedicated and caring people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. It would be a mistake not to give the scholarship to Katie. She would truly be an asset to her occupation. She always makes a difference!
    Janice Szyper

  • What an amazing girl who is an inspiration to others!! Her passion and desire to help others will carry her far not only her career but in life. A very deserving girl for the scholarship at hand!!

  • First, I’m so proud of Katie, and not simply for her going to school to obtain a degree, but in the fact that she’s found something she’s passionate about.. So many work without filling their true destiny and purpose.. Despite Katie’s hard work, dedication, and preserverance, the passion she employs speaks magnitudes.. In saying this, she’s beyond worthy of this scholarship/ award/ honor..

  • After reading Katie’s essay I certainly hope that she receives this scholarship and is able to fulfill her dream. It sounds like she could be a great help to people in pursuing a healthy lifestyle and that is so badly needed.

  • As an avid runner and committed healthy/clean eater in recent months, I wholeheartedly support Katie in her efforts to complete her degree. I’ve known Katie for several years now, and we’ve conquered a particular hill a number of times during a run. She’s pretty stubborn I’d say. I admire her dedication to putting in the work, and excited how her great spirit will inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle. Sure I’m biased, but only because I can’t imagine someone more deserving.

    Her essay is genuine and heartfelt. Very well stated, and I think a great example of her ability to articulate her passion professionally, but always with a bit of whimsy. Katie certainly should receive the utmost consideration for this scholarship. There is no doubt that she would be gracious and humble, but would also make the committee proud to honor her as the recipient. Good luck Katie!

  • Truly one of the most hard working people I know. I couldn’t think of a better and more deserving person for this scholarship. She is always one to put others before herself, so I really hope she is rewarded for that. Good luck Katie!!

  • Katie is the perfect person to receive this scholarship! She works hard in everything she does and finds a way to manage all the things that are truly important in life. I have had the pleasure of working out with Katie and learning from the knowledge she has already absorbed through college. She is truly passionate about fitness and nutrition. I have learned a lot from her since I was a little kid and she is a great fitness role model to grow up with. Katie is a leader and is someone who any person no matter who they are or where they come from can look up to and trust. Katie is a great role model and is best candidate for this scholarship!

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