Things are looking up for 2019 Miss Clovis Outstanding Teen winner Katie Kalocsai.
The 16-year-old junior at Clovis East High School just secured her first official internship at the Armstrong Animal Hospital. She is also preparing for college applications in the fall.
Kalocsai spoke to the Roundup about her past year as Miss Clovis Outstanding Teen and her plans for the future.
Kalocsai uses her platform as Miss Clovis Outstanding Teen to help animals and curb animal overpopulation. She is an active student in Clovis East’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization, where she breeds sheep.
“I’ve had a breeding sheep project for three years and basically with that I started out with a breeding ewe, which is a female sheep,” Kalocsai said. “It’s a great experience because I got to learn how to deal with newborn animals and how to administer injections.”
Kalocsai is on Clovis East’s Veterinary Science Career Development Event team, where she and her teammates compete with other schools in competitions based on veterinary knowledge.
The program is designed to prepare aspiring veterinarians for a successful career.
Kalocsai believes her team has a good chance of making it to the state finals this year.
“Basically we go to all these different competitions and we compete against other teams in California and we compete through identifying different animal breeds and parasites, different veterinary tools. We also have to show knowledge of these different veterinarian techniques used in the practice, as well as general knowledge tests on veterinary science. It is an amazing opportunity because I have really got to learn a whole lot about what I want to be in life,” Kalocsai said.
The past year strengthened Kalocsai’s desire to pursue a career as a veterinarian. She said her experience with FFA gave her the skills necessary to land an internship at the Armstrong Animal Hospital.
“I get to do a lot of things in the hospital, so whether it is – observing surgeries or observing the doctors – I’ve learned how to put together surgery packs, sterilize surgery tools, and restrain animals,” Kalocsai said. “Its showed me the reality of that kind of world and its reassured me that yeah this is something I do want to go into.”
The past year taught Kalocsai a lot about becoming a veterinarian, but not all of those lessons have come easy.
Kalocsai said one of the biggest lessons – and challenges – of the past year was when one of her sheep became sick.
“I had a very sick sheep this past year, she was supposed to be my market lamb.
She came down with something and we had no idea what it was. We gave her everything – injections, different antibiotics. She wasn’t eating and she slowly got extremely anorexic… I remember going at least three times a day and I made this disgusting soupy texture feed, so if she wasn’t going to eat I was going to force her,” Kalocsai said. “I worked my butt off to keep that animal alive, and then the vet came out like four times and it came to a point where we had no idea what was wrong. We came to the conclusion that we were going to put her out in the pasture, let her eat grass and if she gets better that is amazing, if she doesn’t then at least she lived the last few months of her life in happiness.”
Despite her best efforts, Kalocsai’s sheep eventually died. An autopsy revealed that the sheep suffered from several medical problems that were out of Kalocsai’s control. She took the death hard at first, but overcame the experience by viewing it as a life lesson.
“She did eventually pass away and that was so hard for me. I felt helpless that she ended up dying and I couldn’t save her,” she said. “I accepted that I did the best I could. I overcame it because I tried to look at it as a learning experience. I got to learn about these different illnesses that had happened to her.”
Besides her work with animals, Kalocsai kept up her appearances associated with Miss America. She said she enjoyed doing events like the Children’s Electric Christmas Parade.
“The highlights were definitely the parades. The Electric Christmas Parade was a highlight because I will never forget the connection I felt with everybody in Clovis when I waved and they waved back and the smiles on the little kid’s faces,” she said.
With her senior year starting in the fall, Kalocsai is thinking hard about which college she wants to attend. She said schools such as UC Davis, UC San Diego and Stanford are at the top of her list. She plans on majoring in Biology.
Her ultimate goal is to become a small animal veterinarian and open her own clinic.
“This year has been amazing, not only because I get to put so much on my college applications and resumes, but also I got to meet a lot of new faces and learn the life lessons of being more responsible,” Kalocsai said.