For the first time ever, school is in session at Nelson Mandela Elementary. The curriculums have been written and the policies are in place. And when the school’s administrators needed someone to create a health policy and procedure handbook, University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) student-athlete Katherine Barrow answered the call.
Barrow, who is also a pitcher for the UNO softball team, was tasked with writing the health policy and procedure for the new school. She also facilitated communication between the parents and administrators. It was a big responsibility, but nothing Barrow could not handle.
“It’s pretty interesting to be on the ground floor of a school,” said Barrow. “It was fun to be a part of the shuffling and the development of an entire school program.”
Barrow, a public health major, said her coursework prepared her for the experience, but it was no walk in the park.
“It was very overwhelming at times,” she said.
As a pitcher, Barrow is no stranger to high-pressure situations. She was a second team All-Summit League selection, and she was also named to the Summit League academic honor roll.
“I think a lot of the self-discipline and persistence that I was required to have for softball helped me persevere through the chaos,” she said. “Just sticking with it.”
One of the things she said she enjoyed most was the challenge and the opportunity to work on something for the community. Barrow credited her professors with setting her up for success. However, applying the classroom principles to the real world is what she enjoyed the most.
“I think in the classroom setting it is easy to play on your strengths. You know what you are supposed to study and what portions of the books to read. I think the real world experience really exposes your vulnerabilities and it really challenged me to become more well-rounded. I liked the challenge.”