As an athletic trainer at Hastings Orthopaedics in Hastings, Neb., Vito is responsible for prepping patients, removing sutures and staples, setting casts and fitting braces. He also serves as the athletic trainer for Nebraska Danger, a professional indoor football team. Vito’s future plans include earning a master’s degree in sports medicine and starting pre-athletic training programs at local high schools throughout Los Angeles County.
How did you decide on a career in athletic training?
I wanted to major in athletic training because it allowed me to help others while still being involved in athletics. I’ve always been an athlete and a big sports fan, and this field enables me to work in an environment that I love. I also understand how frustrating, scary and painful injuries can be, and as an athletic trainer, I have the knowledge and skills to help athletes out during these unfortunate times.
Why did you choose to attend Northwestern?
I was recruited to play football. But after I arrived on campus, I learned how great the college was and how much more it had to offer. Northwestern has great programs, both academically and athletically. The college helps students not only build their knowledge for the future, but also grow in their faith. Not many schools achieve this balance, but Northwestern does it well.
What did you appreciate most about the kinesiology faculty?
Northwestern is like a big family. The kinesiology faculty cared about me not just as a student but as a person. Being more than 1,700 miles away from home, I didn’t always get to travel back to California for holidays, but my professors would be the first to make sure I had somewhere to go. Even today, my family and I are grateful for the kinesiology department.
What do you miss most since graduation?
I have a lot of fond memories from my time at Northwestern, but I’m especially grateful for the friendships. I made friendships that will last the rest of my life. It was the simple things—like going out to dinner or studying together—that made my time there so special. I loved every minute of living with my best friends.
How did studying kinesiology strengthen your faith?
Kinesiology classes can be very challenging. Trying to balance football with homework, there were times when I felt like I wasn’t going to make it. But these studies helped me strengthen my faith by placing more emphasis on my trust in God. During stressful times I would step back and pray and focus my energy on relying on God. I learned that with faith, nothing is impossible, and I owe that to my time in the kinesiology department.