• Go Beavers!!!

PCC becomes blessing in disguise for Callie Hobkirk

10 October 2018

“Even though PCC wasn’t necessarily my number one choice for a college, it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life. It is something I am extremely grateful for.”

Callie Hobkirk grew up in Wichita and graduated high school from Wichita Heights High School in 2013. While in high school, she participated in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program, where she had developed the dreams of becoming a Naval Nurse after graduation. Unfortunately, she was unable to attend the University of Kansas for Navy ROTC due to not being granted a scholarship.

“I didn’t really have a backup plan at that point in time,” said Hobkirk. “I started panicking to figure out where I was going to college.”

After pondering what the next step was in her life, Hobkirk reached out to a familiar friend she met while participating as a Miss Kansas Sunflower Princess many years ago.

“I have known Misty Beck, PCC Speech Communications and Theatre Instructor, for a very long time,” said Hobkirk. “I reached out to her and she said she would love to have me as part of her musical group. I went to Pratt to audition and I was able to meet some of the faculty and staff. I immediately loved PCC.”

Hobkirk ended up becoming a Presidential Above and Beyond scholar in the Fall 2013 semester, which meant she was able to attend PCC on a full books and tuition scholarship. While at PCC, she participated in a variety of clubs and organizations, such as Encore!, Phi Theta Kappa, and Student Admission Representatives. She was also a part of the President Advisory Council her sophomore year. In addition to the various organizations she was in, she also participated in the Fiddler on the Roof musical the theatre department performed.

“I was very busy at Pratt, even though I wasn’t involved with any sports,” said Hobkirk. “While my extracurricular activities were academic and music related, I did love going to the games and supporting my fellow Beavers.”

Her involvement with clubs and organizations outside of the classroom were responsible for her favorite memories at PCC, particularly those associated with the musical group, Encore!

“While in Encore!, we traveled extensively in my two years of being there,” said Hobkirk. “Those trips are probably my fondest memories. I went to Tennessee with the group both years. My family was able to come with me the second year, so that was exciting being able to share the experience with both my friends and family.”

Hobkirk states that living in the dorms, making friends, being able to hang out and study, as well spending time with friends in the Pratt community, were among her favorite activities to do when she was not participating in clubs or learning in the classroom.

“My friends and I spent a lot of time at Sonic getting ice cream late at night, or going to Pizza Hut. It was a great time,” said Hobkirk. “The people in the Pratt community are extremely helpful and welcoming. That’s something you don’t necessarily find everywhere.”

One of the first classes Hobkirk took at PCC was the Certified Nurse Aid course in which she obtained her CNA license. She worked as a CNA at Parkwood Village in Pratt where she decided that nursing was not the route she wanted to take.

“After I started working as a CNA, I realized I did not love it,” said Hobkirk. “While CNA’s and nurses make a huge impact on their patients’ lives, I wanted to make an even bigger impact on the people around me.”

In her quest to find a career to make an impact on the world, Hobkirk graduated PCC in May 2015 with her Associate of Science degree then moved on to Washburn University in Topeka to major in Health Services Administration and minor in Legal Studies. She believes her success at Washburn is directly related to her experiences at PCC.

“I graduated Summa Cum Laude at Washburn,” said Hobkirk. “PCC definitely helped me be successful, as I was able to learn how to study. I pulled my first all-nighter at Pratt to study for an Anatomy and Physiology test, and I learned to never do that again! It was not fun and something I would never recommend to anybody. I definitely learned how to study appropriately, thanks to Pratt Community College.”

After graduating from Washburn, Hobkirk began working in the health field at Stormont Vail Health in Topeka. She quickly moved up the ranks to a position that can best be described as a private health investigator.

“I took what potential providers said they did and who they were, then investigated to make sure they were actually who they said they were,” said Hobkirk. “That includes a lot of different checks and making sure they are not on any of the lists with Medicare and Medicaid. It was a lot of work and a stressful job, but it was definitely worth it when you think about the fact that you are protecting your patients from providers who could potentially not be who they said they were.”

Now, Hobkirk has moved back to Wichita where she is in the midst of the application process to become a US Naval Officer to work within their Health Care Administration program. She feels a lot of recent graduates are still working to find their lifelong careers, but with their education from PCC, she believes they were set in the right direction.

“A lot of recent PCC graduates are just like me,” said Hobkirk. “We are still finding our way and getting set in our paths and careers. PCC provided us the tools we need to become successful.”

While PCC wasn’t her first choice in colleges, Hobkirk states she would not change a thing about the direction life has taken her.

“I truly think PCC is a blessing in disguise,” said Hobkirk. “I met my best friends and have a lot of wonderful memories from there. The staff is amazing. I can’t give enough credit to all my professors and the people I worked with.”

September 6, 1938, Pratt Junior College opened its doors as the 14th junior college created in Kansas. Pratt “Juco” welcomed 150 new students to its original campus located on 401 S. Hamilton Street. Eighty years later Pratt Community College is proud to have helped build the futures of thousands of students on-campus, online, at our Winfield and Wichita learning centers and through high school concurrent enrollment.

The mission of Pratt Community College is maximum student learning, individual and workforce development, high quality instruction and service, and community enrichment. PCC is proud to be a part of the community in Pratt, Kansas. With more than 80 years of history, PCC remains humbled to serve our community and students who come to build a foundation for their lives.

This year we celebrate this grand anniversary and remember those who’ve walked through these halls. Each month during 2018 PCC is proud to feature stories and memories from alumnae, community members and faculty who have helped see our institution and mission grow. If you would like to share an experience or memory or be considered for one of our monthly features contact Jessica Ward, 620-450-1292, jessicaw@prattcc.edu.