Graduate on a mission

Christian mission work is Katie Knez's calling

Katie Knez has one post-graduation goal -- to help others.

She and her classmates in the Moffat County High School Class of 2007 celebrate commencement in two weeks.

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Then it's on to Regis University, a Christian college in Denver, where Knez will study math and science in hopes of using her degree to someday be a teacher or doctor on mission trips.

"I just see a great need in other countries and even in the United States," Knez said. "People need the necessities, and they don't have them."

She chose Regis because it's a small, private university that's close to home. Knez, who was born and raised in Craig, said she's sad to leave behind her parents and three younger siblings.

"They joke about it sometimes, but I hope they'll miss me," Knez said.

She realizes attending a university will be different than high school.

"I've been with the same kids all the way through, and you're not going to have that in college," Knez said. "(I look forward to) challenging myself with college curriculum. I know it's going to be a lot harder than here, so I just have to step up to that challenge."

Knez is active in her church, St. Michael Catholic Church, helps with First Baptist Church's Awana program, is co-president of Key Club and is a member of the National Honor Society.

The senior said of her high school experiences she'll miss sports the most -- track, cross country and swimming.

"The sports that I've chosen are quite strenuous at times," Knez said. "It just leaves you with a great feeling of accomplishment."

This summer, Knez will work as a lifeguard at the Craig Swimming Complex and visit her family's cabin in Colorado Springs and Mount Elim Bible Camp in Steamboat Springs.

She's looking forward to traveling once she's earned her degree, as well. After taking four years of Spanish courses and visiting Spain with her class during spring break, Knez is ready to visit third-world countries and affect needy people's lives. She expects her Spanish language background will help her serve those who live in South America, in particular.

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