Mesa, AZ – Kindra Holliday loves sports, all sports, and hopes to eventually work for the Oakland Raiders as a physical therapist, “I just grew up liking them and that’s just been my favorite team since I was little, so I would just love to stick with them. I’ve been around sports since I was walking and getting away from sports would just be horrible, I just love sports so much. So keeping my career in sports is just a goal I have.”
Kindra is a 21-year-old senior at Benedictine University in Mesa and expects to graduate later this year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Nutrition. She then plans on applying for the doctoratoral program in physical therapy at Northern Arizona University.
Kindra was born and raised in the Globe-Miami area of Arizona and graduated from Miami High School in 2012. She went on to attend Eastern Arizona University where she earned her associate’s degree before transferring to Benedictine University. Kindra says growing up in Globe was a lot of fun and a lot of sports, “I played all sports from football to tennis and basketball. My favorite sports would probably be basketball and tennis. I actually went to college playing tennis and still play some pick-up games to stay in shape.”
She says moving from rural Arizona to Mesa has been a challenge, “It was a total change because I was used to going outdoors all of the time. Down here it’s more city, more people – you have to go somewhere to go hike or go fishing, so it’s quite different than living in a small community.”
Kindra points out that being away from her family and living on her own has meant growing up fast:
“In a small town you have all of your family that helps out with everything. But since I’m down here by myself I have to – I pay my own bills and it’s taught me discipline. I can’t go out and just have fun, I have to think about what expenses are coming up and just different things like that. That’s probably the biggest thing that college has taught me, is to manage my time and manage my money.”
Kindra also earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona which provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses. It also provides specialized mentoring services involving “Success Advisers” (mentors) who work with the students to help them overcome academic, as well as personal challenges.
Kindra says her success adviser, Matt Sotelo, has been very supportive, “He’s been awesome. He’s always contacting us asking if we have any questions or if we need help with anything. He invites us to different events, outings, games, barbecues – so it’s been awesome to have that support group behind me.”
She adds that the scholarship has helped to limit student debt, “Oh yes, as of right now with my scholarships from school and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), I have not paid anything out of pocket, so it’s been really helpful for me.”
Kindra encourages middle and high school students considering college to work hard, “Take school seriously because your grades will affect how you will get scholarships, and how your future will turn out with school.”