She graduated near the top of her high school class, loves to travel and spends a great deal of time volunteering, but Abbie Bokinskie, one of Martin Marietta's nine college scholarship winners, says she’s found life’s most valuable answers elsewhere.
“I’ve been playing soccer since I was 10 years old,” she says. “It’s taught me teamwork, patience, time management and, above all, leadership.”
The sport does seem to have touched just about every aspect of Bokinskie’s life in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and prepared her for four years at California State University, Los Angeles, where she'll study the sciences.
Dan, Abbie and Jill Bokinskie
She says soccer keeps her committed to academic success, has given her a group of lifelong friends and has helped her cultivate an unwaveringly upbeat attitude.
“On the field, I’d try to hold the team together when we were near breaking points,” she says. “I stayed positive because I never wanted anyone to bring negativity to the team.”
It’s that same attitude that allows Bokinskie to step outside of her comfort zone with optimism, a trait that will serve her well while transitioning from the North Star State to the Golden State.
“I want to try something different,” she says. “I never want to wonder ‘What if?’”
But for all of her experiences on the field, in the classroom and beyond, the 18-year-old credits the bulk of her achievements to life at home, where her family – particularly her father, Dan Bokinskie, a sales representative in the Company’s Midwest Division – routinely teaches the value of hard work.
“My dad has always encouraged me to do what I want and to follow my dreams,” she says. “He’s always been there to help me succeed. He really is a great guy.”