Quality, rather than quantity, of the people in your life: Kiley Dindinger

Kiley Dindinger

From your time at CSU, what are you most proud of?

I am definitely most proud of my triathlon teammates for getting 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at Collegiate Nationals in 2019! It was the first podium sweep ever in triathlon collegiate nationals history, and I am still so proud of them every day. It wasn’t exactly something I did, but I trained alongside them every day and was super involved in the team, so seeing their hard work pay off made me incredibly happy.

Kiley Dindinger

Hometown: Centennial, Colorado

Major: Civil engineering

What’s been the hardest part?

The hardest part of my time at CSU was definitely trying to stay motivated and continuing to get out of bed every day in the months and years after my brother died in 2018. College would have no doubt been way easier without that happening. But I made it to graduation, and that’s actually another thing I’m very proud of.

What have you learned during the pandemic that you wouldn’t have otherwise?

As a college student during the pandemic, I think my main takeaway was that it will always be about the quality of people in your life rather than the quantity. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh, who are empathetic when you cry, and who want to make every day some type of adventure (even in a pandemic).

What did the Scott scholarship allow you to do that you couldn’t have done otherwise?

During the summer of 2019, I really wanted to do something that would be both good for the world (at least a little) and an adventure. I found a volunteer program in Iceland that camped throughout the summer in various parts of Iceland and did trail restoration work. I was on a team with four people from four different countries and spent the entire time (besides the airport) outside. The program covered my food, and I slept in a tent, so I didn’t lose money, but I also didn’t make money – which is something I could only afford to do because of the Scott Scholarship. It was hard work, but such an awesome opportunity.

Another thing this scholarship has allowed me to do is to not have the stress of student loans looming over me as I decide about my future. I’ve been able to spend time applying for lots of things, get ghosted or rejected from like 40 places, be picky about saying yes, and finally, get a job with a small civil engineering company in Maui that I am really, really excited for!

What have you learned as a Scott Scholar that prepares you for your next steps in life?

I think one of the key things I’ve learned as a Scott Scholar is the importance of giving back. It is so easy for us to believe that we earned what we have in this life. And while there can be truth in that, it’s really important to recognize the opportunities that we had that helped us tremendously, and to acknowledge that many hard-working people do not have the same opportunities. Education is an opportunity that opens so many doors, and it’s not something that everyone has access to. The Scott Scholarship is just one of the many opportunities I’ve had in life, and I want to use what I’ve had and what I’ve learned to create opportunities for other people. I don’t know exactly what this will look like in my future, but I have so many ideas. I’d love to foster children, teach in a low-income community, be a part of designing and building affordable housing complexes, join the Peace Corps, work toward increased sustainability … I have time to do a lot! And every day, I can do small things to spread joy.