Kailie Leggett has always jumped at the chance to gain life experiences. Although she is just 30 years old, she has already learned a lot about the world first-hand. She has traveled internationally, moved around the country, and explored different interests. Along the way Leggett’s journey led her to College of Western Idaho (CWI), and it was there she discovered her passion.
After graduating from Boise High School in 2004, she spent the better part of a decade exploring the world. She first moved to California, where she was born, before relocating to Portland, Oregon. There she attended The Western Culinary Institute. Life then took Leggett to Austin, Texas where she worked as a baker and sang in bands. Leggett says she really enjoyed her 20s, which also included a trip to Central America. Eventually she landed back in the west; working at a summer camp in Montana. It was there Leggett started to wonder if something was missing.
“All my co-workers had recently graduated from [college] and they had so much more basic knowledge than I had,” recalls Leggett. “I felt I should go back to school and learn the basics I had missed out on. I moved back to Boise, knowing I wanted to attend [CWI], and enrolled the next fall.”
She arrived at CWI planning on a career in Elementary Education. It didn’t take long for Leggett to decide on a different direction. Leggett took a history class in her first semester at CWI and was hooked. The following year, she was introduced to cultural anthropology. She discovered a passion for both topics and eventually graduated from CWI with associate degrees in Anthropology and History.
Leggett’s revelations didn’t just happen in the classroom, however. She says her vision of the future really took shape thanks to the extracurricular activities she participated in at CWI. She gained valuable work experience as an intern and work study. She also made countless memories and created a network of friends through her involvement in the CWI Anthropology Club.
“In general, I was given some leadership opportunities [at CWI] that allowed me to not only gain valuable skills, but also feel important,” she said. “It's amazing what just feeling important can do for you.”
Her new education, skills, and confidence led Leggett to University of Idaho where she is currently studying Natural Resource Conservation. She is set to graduate in May with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Natural Resource Conservation with an emphasis in Conservation Planning and Management. Leggett is planning to attend graduate school and hopes to one day work as a university extension agent; a person who acts as a liaison between university research and the local community.
She says that although her bachelor’s degree isn’t directly related to Anthropology, her experiences and journey at CWI is what led her to the unveiling of her interests.
“I think that taking time to participate in extracurricular activities taught me how to connect with my academic environment and classmates,” she says. “I learned how valuable having a support system is and what amazing things can come your way through these connections. CWI not only allowed me the opportunity to learn, but it gave me the confidence I needed.”