California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    CLU grad takes nontraditional route and becomes a snowboard instructor

    California Lutheran University alumna Katelyn Kimball graduated last May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an emphasis in health professions. She is now living in Mammoth, a place she said she has loved since she was a little girl.

    Kimball works as a ski and snowboard instructor for both children and adults on Mammoth Mountain.

    “My family and I have been coming up here since before it was up to me [to decide] at all with other families we were close with. It was always a really fun time with friends and my siblings and parents. We’ve been skiing since we could pretty much walk,” Kimball said.

    Kimball said she eventually tried out snowboarding when she was around 8 years old and has been in love with it ever since. When she was in high school, Kimball said she made her own trips to Mammoth with her friends.

    “The idea of living here was the greatest thing ever because I could just go whenever I want to. I like being outside, I love being active, the mountains are super awesome so it really was a great fit for me to come spend some time here,” Kimball said.

    Brianna Pinal, a senior at Cal Lutheran said in an email interview that she first met Kimball during her freshman year during the soccer team preseason. Pinal said she has always known of Kimball’s love for snowboarding and that the lifestyle suits her.

    “She has the best sense of humor; she can make anyone and everyone laugh. She’s always the life of the party and Katelyn is incredibly caring and genuine. I really admire her and respect her because she is not afraid to voice her opinion, and having someone like that in your life is very refreshing,” Pinal said.

    Kimball said she knows it was the right decision for her to get away and have independence now that she is not busy with college and soccer.

    “I have always lived in Thousand Oaks and never really got away. Mammoth has been my favorite place in the world, I kind of figured, ‘Why not?’” Kimball said.

    Kimball said she has always been active with soccer, snowboarding and skiing.

    “I definitely have always loved moving around. I don’t like sitting still much. I don’t like the idea of sitting in a desk,” Kimball said.

    Ava Poudyal, a senior at Cal Lutheran also met Kimball through the soccer team. Poudyal said she is very proud of Kimball for following her heart.

    “She’s doing what she loves and that’s not something a lot of people can say,” Poudyal said.

    Kimball said she has made many new friends in Mammoth that she will keep for life and looks forward to teaching again next season.

    “I think it’s really fun to watch a child step out of their comfort zone if they’ve never seen the snow and there’s this moment they have once they pick it up. It makes me realize how much of a challenge it is to be learning something for the first time; it’s a cool thing to witness and be a part of,” Kimball said.

    Kimball said she thinks when students are in a place where they are not tied to too many responsibilities, they should take advantage of the luxury to move to a place they love or pursue something while there’s nothing else in the way.

    Kimball also works as an emergency medical technician and will be starting a new job with the ambulance company American Medical Response in North Hollywood in a few weeks when she moves back home for the summer.

    She said her ultimate goal is to become a nurse and work in a hospital, so she will be taking pre-nursing classes at Moorpark College.

    “My main goal in life is to help others and make a difference, and through that, surround myself with really good people and just try to be as happy as I can,” Kimball said.

    Brooke Oyler
    Reporter