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Kat takes on the world


Kat Dickinson broadens perspectives as she immerses herself in multiple languages and cultures

Once upon a time, a young girl full of ideas and spunk was much admired for her sophisticated allure and cultured love for the world. Her name was Kat Dickinson and she was most certainly not afraid of climbing new heights or confronting big scary giants such as the monster of the future or the dragon of public speaking. Her dedication as a flamboyant girl was the source of being bestowed a passion for the people and languages of the world with the goal to one day travel every road the world has to offer her.


Dickinson is what this day and society calls “a people person.” Her exposure to many different communities has made her prone to excitement for diversity and culture. Meeting new people and learning about their way of life and their passions and aspirations is what she loves to do. She is passionate about learning languages and has already mastered Spanish, Arabic, German and Japanese conversationally and continues to improve on Korean and Mandarin. Listening to videos, the news and blogs allows her to find the patterns in the speech and structure of a new language. After a basic understanding, she says that she can build on it from there. “I only became cognizant of my passion for languages until around late middle school time and I wish I had been more aware of it earlier because then I could know more languages than I know now,” she said. Her friends are all extremely impressed by Dickinson. “I would not be surprised if Kat took over the world one day. She can do anything she puts her mind to and I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love her,” said Spencer Anderson, who was a fellow RYLA and Italy traveler and has known Kat since she moved to Paso Robles two years ago.


Dickinson is no stranger to new places. She has moved a total of 18 times with her military family since she was born. Both of her parents are in the military with her mom currently running  Fort Hunter Liggett alongside the Colonel there and her dad working on biochemi

As a voting member of the Paso Robles Youth Commission, Dickinson had the opportunity to do community outreach and recommend the ban of Styrofoam on behalf of the commission.

cs and teaching in the military. Her moves have all been localized within the fifty states aside from the two years spent in Puerto Rico as a middle schooler. Dickinson says that,“I think I am nomadic by nature and the fact that I move every year has probably been a really good thing for me because I have been able to meet and connect to so many different kinds of people and that’s my ultimate passion.


Her frequent travels have exposed her to many unique and empowering experiences such as the time in which she gathered a group of rallying students to make adequate changes to a school in Puerto Rico. It was her 7th grade year and Dickinson observed that the school she was attending needed a change. There was a lack of counselor support to help aid students with their needs and the school’s system was disorganized and chaotic. “We were able to talk to the staff and learned that a lot of them were actually  dissatisfied with the way things were so everybody ended up working together. It’s just that we needed to start that conversation and I remember starting it,”said Dickinson, who has also helped organize rallies such as the Mar. 14, 2018 Parkland “walk-out” rally at PRHS. In response to the Puerto Rico school’s issues, she organized and led a group of students to discuss needed improvements with the principal. Not lacking confidence, Kat stormed right through the doors of the claustrophobic office and confronted her principal face to face. Her principal sat down with the protesters and listened to their pleas and ideas for improving the school environment for both the teachers and the staff. Slowly but surely, the students began to see things change for the better. “If [the principal] didn’t listen to us, I would have been in there the next day and the next day after that. She couldn’t really put us aside,” she said.


Kat’s exuberant personality creates a dynamic heroine out of an adventure book. When she’s not at the arcade Mustang Lanes on Cal Poly campus playing Pump It Up – which is the Korean version of Dance Dance Revolution – she can be found mastering her Martial Arts skills of 7 years in shotokan and taekwondo. She even won the Lion’s Club speech competition which gave her an opportunity to exercise her passion for public speaking. “I won that one and it was a really awesome experience and now I do Toastmasters every Monday [where I] very regularly do table topics,” she said. Dickinson is also an active member in the Paso Robles Youth Commission – a commission that works to represent the youth of the community – and is the President of both the International Club and the Interpreting Club. One of her favorite pastimes, “…is looking up abstract art films that nobody understands and then trying to understand them.” Dickinson also went to Italy with PRHS AP Lit teacher Aaron Cantrell and a group of other students to which she says was, “…the most interesting thing I’ve done.  I mean having an experience like that is something that I will never be able to forget about for sure and I can’t wait to go back.”


Her favorite childhood memory is a tribute to the day she crashed into a tree after zip lining. It all happened on a sunny afternoon in Chicago, Illinois. Kat and her family had just strung up a zipline for a family fun day. “I remember that I was going to be the first one to try it and my dad told me when you get to the end and see the big tree coming close to you, put out your feet to stop yourself but don’t let go of the zipline. So I went on the zipline and I was having so much fun that I totally forgot what my dad had told me and I just face first smashed into this massive tree and fell 12 feet to the ground. My dad flipped out, he thought I had a concussion or I had broken something but when he came over to me I was just laughing on the ground by myself. I think that it is important to laugh at yourself and to be able to realize that just because something has gone wrong or maybe didn’t go according to plan doesn’t mean that it is the end of the world.”


After high school, Dickinson plans to take an alternative route to college, the military and the workforce. She hopes to travel to as many places as possible and become conversational in as many languages as possible – that is of course aside from “the ultimate goal of world domination” as she would say.


Her personal motto “Not Yet” correlates deeply with her ideology on living life. What her motto represents is the fact that ,“It’s important to acknowledge your accomplishments but it’s also important to see how you can continue to progress and keep moving forward.”


Although the closing of the 2018 school year has arrived and passed by, Kat has turned yet another page in her fairy tale and has many more pages that are yet to be written before her story concludes.

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