“Take advantage of everything and anything that this campus offers. I feel that if you don’t take advantage of it, you are going to end up regretting it when you look back on your experience. . . go outside your comfort zone and to try new things.”
Before ever stepping foot on the UNH campus, then high school junior Kathryn “Katie” Sattora felt this might be the college where she would want to continue her volleyball career. She started by contacting coaches Jill Hirschinger and Stacy Barnett, sending a video and attending the UNH volleyball summer camp the summer before her senior year, hoping that she would be the right fit for their team, and UNH would be the right fit for Katie. After attending camp and meeting the team and coaches, Katie had the answer to her questions. UNH was absolutely the right fit for her, and her desire to come play for the volleyball team deepened.
In the fall of her senior year Katie made one last pre-college visit to UNH and “sealed the deal.” She was offered a spot on the team for the following school year that she immediately accepted. “When the coaches met with my parents and me and offered me a position on the team, I instantly took it because I was so excited to become a UNH Wildcat. Both coaches started laughing because I didn’t even hesitate or look over at my parents. I just said YES, I would love to be on the team. My parents knew how much I loved the campus, the coaches and team, but most importantly UNH had an Occupational Therapy program that I was extremely interested in pursuing.”
Katie hasn’t looked back since her first Occupational Therapy class with Professor Beth Stewart, who is not only one of her favorite professors and advisor, but who is, as Katie says, “an amazing person.” “I am a people person and love working with others. My cousin is an Occupational Therapist who I really look up to and respect, and I could see the passion she had for this field of work every time we talked. I was hoping this might be the right field for my personality, and fortunately I was right. I have done a number of observations in both school and clinical settings, and I am so excited for my future. I love being able to help other people and give back.”
Katie is passionate about people, especially children and individuals with disabilities. This passion has translated into two separate, but fulfilling roles in her life – one as a counselor at The Sunshine Rotary Camp in Rush, NY, a summer program for young people with a range of disabilities; and the other as a companion, helper and friend for a fellow student who was born with cerebral palsy. While this is a story about a young athlete who has done amazing things with her Wildcat experience, it is the way that Katie talks about those she cares for that makes you fully understand this extraordinary woman is all heart.
“Kevin, who is currently a junior, was born with cerebral palsy and is one of the most amazing and brilliant people I have ever met. He is a Spanish major, speaks five languages, is a campus tour guide, and someone that I consider a very good friend.” Both lived in Congreve their freshmen and sophomore years, but it wasn’t until the start of their sophomore year when Kevin sent an e-mail looking for students who could assist him during the week.
Working with Kevin was a little out of her comfort zone. She would be staying with him overnight and helping him with tasks that most people take for granted. However, Katie knew she could do it because of her previous experience at the Sunshine Rotary Camp. “If I hadn’t worked at The Sunshine Camp that summer, I might not have answered Kevin’s request. I knew I had the skills and capability to provide him with the help he needed, so I did.” After almost a year and a half, Kevin has become good friends with Katie’s parents and everyone on her team. “We really have bonded, and I am so happy to have created such a strong friendship with him. He brings way more to my life than he will ever know.”
Katie is also a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, which does many community service activities. “This group works with the community on food drives, homework club, Hoops for Hunger, Toys for Tots, Pease Greeters, and reaches out and shows support for everybody – I love being a part of it.”
Currently a junior, Katie is the co-captain of the 2014-15 UNH Women’s Volleyball team. She credits her two coaches for encouraging and supporting her to take advantage of all that UNH has to offer. She will be continuing on for a fifth year at UNH for graduate school and hopes to do some volunteering abroad in the not too distant future. “I am extremely passionate about children and people with disabilities which provides me with many options, but I have a feeling that I will figure it out as I go.”
Katie is passionate about people, especially children and individuals with disabilities. This passion has translated into two separate, but fulfilling roles in her life – one as a counselor at The Sunshine Rotary Camp in Rush, NY, a summer camp for young people with a range of disabilities; and the other as a companion, helper and friend for a fellow UNH student who was born with cerebral palsy. While this is a story about a young athlete who has done amazing things with her Wildcat experience, it is the way that Katie talks about those she cares for that makes you fully understand this extraordinary woman is all heart.