Long-time friends and teammates Olivia Conradi, Khloe Clark and Kallie Schmit headed in different directions after graduating from Kalama High School.
Kallie, who signed with Salt Lake Community College in Utah, traveled the farthest. Khloe went to Clark College in Vancouver to play softball. Olivia, who participated in Running Start, decided to stay at LCC to finish her degree.
Kallie excelled on the court in Utah, but felt overwhelmed with the vast campus and large class sizes she encountered. Not knowing anyone in the city was also strange to her, particularly compared to the tight-knit community of Kalama she grew up in. So she came home to be closer to family and friends, and enrolled at LCC.
“It’s nice to walk around campus and see people you know. There is a home-town, friendly environment here. LCC is like the Kalama of community colleges,” — according to Kallie.
Although Khloe didn't venture quite as far afield, she also disliked the large classes and unfamiliar surroundings she encountered in Vancouver. Seeing so many strangers on campus everyday made her apprehensive. Eventually she moved back home, in part to save money, and signed on at LCC.
“I don’t feel shy at LCC. There are a lot of people I know here. Being at LCC is like being with family,” — she said.
A flurry of what if texts turned to reality as each player's area of expertise fell into place with the LCC team, coached by Carri Smith. If the team's domination of the courts this season is any indication, the friends' shared enthusiasm about staying close to home to go to college is definitely a winning proposition.
Playing ball together is not the only thing the trio appreciates about LCC. The college's small campus, ease of getting around, and array of extra-curricular and social activities are also positive attributes.
“There is always something fun going on at LCC,” — said Olivia
The women also find value in the high quality of the education and facilities at LCC, including the beautiful campus grounds. They are especially enjoying the newly renovated Gym and Fitness Center.
“It's way better than anything you can find in Salt Lake,” — Kallie noted.
Although a common interest led them all here, the three friends are actually pursuing dramatically different educational and career goals at LCC. Khloe is working on a degree in education and wants to teach at either the elementary or pre-K level. Olivia hopes to transfer to a program in wine making, and Kallie is still exploring her options, including nursing.
Like many students that came before them, Olivia, Khloe and Kallie all traveled their own paths to find their home at LCC.