Kira Sabin | B.S. Agriculture and Food Business Management | Class of 2023
2023 Lincoln University Exchange | 2023 Outstanding Senior Award
2022 Walter Bailey scholarship | 2020 Arthur AC Wight scholarship
A Little About Me
My name is Kira Sabin. I am the 2nd oldest of 7 children, born in Wichita Fall Texas on an Air Force base on 9/11, 2001. I lived in Provo, Utah until I was about 7 years old. After a divorce, my single mother moved my siblings and I to Oregon. We moved around a lot, but the small town of Jefferson, Oregon is what I consider my hometown. I attended school there from 4th grade to high school graduation.
I am very passionate about exercise. I love all kinds; at Oregon State University (OSU) I tried ballet, judo, rock climbing, surfing, swimming, and weight training. I would say my favorite sport however, is running. I was an adamant long-distance track & field and cross country runner throughout high school. My cross country team is where I met the my one and only love of my life so it holds a special place in my heart. I recently ran my first half marathon.
Aside from sports, I love writing, drawing, music, videogames, movies, shows, eating, caring for my cat and lizard, going on adventures, and so much more. I am always down to learn new hobbies, and I find practically anything fascinating. You never know what you'll like unless you try it, right?
The Challenges of High School
Growing up in a household with 7 kids being supported entirely by my extremely hardworking mother means we were certainly not well off. There were a few times where we lost our home and had to split apart with various friends and family members to make ends meet. Watching the dedication my mother put into her family strongly motivated me to work as hard as I could. So on top of school, I was involved in band, sports, National Honor Society, art club, bible study, church activities, babysitting siblings, cleaning homes for money, relationships, and a plethora of other activities. To save up enough money to buy my own car, when I was 16, I decided to work a summer job at Justin Gross Farms (JGF); a decision that entirely shaped my career path today. If you would like to learn more about my time there, check out FAMILIES: The Backbone of Oregon Agriculture.
I was running 16+ hour days throughout high school, and looking back, I have absolutely no clue as to how I did it all. But somehow, I kept going. I maintained a 3.98GPA, including the 41 college credits that I was dual enrolled in. And then, a miracle happened.
As I was attempting to stay awake during my AP biology course, an announcement was made overhead for me to head to the principal’s office. There, I was told that I had received the Ford Family Foundation Scholarship. I didn’t even know what it was for or even remembered applying for it. I quickly found out that it was a scholarship that would not only give me a full ride to any university in Oregon, but would also pay for my food, housing, books, and any other fees. I remember at that moment thinking, “Finally, it’s all worth it. Finally, everything I’ve been doing has been for a reason.” I felt so incredibly and completely blessed. I didn't even have intentions to attend a university, but the Ford altered my entire reality. Thus, I decided to attend OSU and study Agriculture and Food Business Management to pursue my passion for farming.
My Career Path
Even though I’ve been so absolutely blessed financially from Ford, I worked all through university. I have continued to work every single summer at JGF. During the school year I worked at Bi-Mart as a Customer Satisfaction Expert. Say what you will about working retail - especially during the pandemic - but I had some of the best coworkers.
I left Bi-Mart in 2022 for a student Marketing and Communications Coordinator position on the College of AgSci Marcomm team. This career has taught me so much, and developed my passion for marketing. There is a large gap between our food industry and its end consumers, and I love getting the chance to be the bridge between them. I have helped develop many websites - including the one you’re reading right now - write articles, manage social media, photograph, create videos, make connections, and so much more. Though I am graduated now, and my time here is coming to an end, I truly have valued my development, and am opportunistic about where the future might take me.
Across the World
Where has my study taken me? Well, the way across the world! My final two terms before graduating OSU were spent on a student exchange at Lincoln University in New Zealand. As someone who has never been outside the US before, this experience was completely eye opening for me. I made so many friends from around the world, and even got to make my own wine. Also, this is where my partner of 7 years proposed! We have been inseperable since 14 years old, so he has been the foundation and #1 supporter of nearly 70% of my life now. I literally cannot imagine how my life would be without him. I don't know if there's a more magical place than New Zealand to have such a memory into the next chapter of our lives. If you would like to learn more about my time there, check out What’s the Difference?
School is DIFFICULT
School is SO DIFFICULT, just on its own. But then the pandemic happened not even a full year into my new university life. I won’t go on a ramble about how horrible it is to be locked inside and trying to manage online school with work because y’all reading already know - you lived through it too! The thing that really got me was the passing of my cousin, uncle, and father within the span of a few months. I hadn’t really lost a loved one before this, and let me tell you, when they say you don’t understand what it feels like until it happens to you, they mean it. My cousin was my best friend since birth, and losing so many people in such a short time is by far the most challenging thing I have ever gone through.
Break Down the Barrier
But of course, it has taught me something. The utmost important thing I learned was to ask for help and admit to people what was going on. When all this happened, I was taking 16 credits whilst working 25-30 hours per week. There was no way for me to be able to handle that mentally. If I hadn’t broken down my personal walls and opened up to my advisors, I probably would have failed out of school and lost my scholarship and job. This time made me realize how incredibly compassionate people are. How were my teachers to know that the reason I didn’t finish my essay in time was because I was attending my father’s funeral if I didn’t tell them? Just be honest. Communication is the only way for us humans to understand one another.
Get Up and Go
Further, losing someone so close to me made me realize that there’s no reason to spend all your time preparing for the future. Yes, some preparation is a good thing, but life is short. Even if you plan it all out, something will pull the carpet from under you and change everything. Do you want to study abroad, but you’re worried about this, that, and everything? Just get up and go. I truly believe it's better to do something and regret it than to regret not doing it at all.
As one last note of advice, stop trying to do it all at once. You can’t, it’s not possible. Trust me, I’ve tried. All you’re going to do is completely burn yourself. I still struggle with this SO much. But it’s okay to take a break; it's alright to say no. There's nothing wrong with doing nothing. Learning what you actually can handle is vital for your academic and professional career. It’s better to turn someone down in the first place than to accept their offer and do a poor job. Be honest about what is going on in your life. I know it's uncomfortable to open up about your struggles, but if you do people are understanding. Finally, If tomorrow were to be your last day on Earth, what would you like to do right now? Go and do it.