DUNLAP, Ill. — Working at a summer track camp in a small town is pretty much all Kiara Pauli has known.
But that’s about to change.
“When you look at cornfields surrounding two sides of your house everyday, it gets a little old,” Pauli said with a smile.
The former Dunlap High School speedster is about two months away from going to college. She’ll run at DePaul University in Chicago.
There she’ll be a ways away from central Illinois. Miles from her mom and dad.
“It’s going to be hard not having them there at every single meet,” Pauli said of her parents. “I’m going to miss them.”
She realizes going away to school can be exciting and intimidating. So to remind herself her family will be with her no matter what, Pauli recently got a tattoo.
It includes her mom’s signature, her dad’s signature, and the date her parents adopted her — March 23, 2005.
“I got it because when I’m college and we’re separated it’s going to be hard on our whole family because I’m the first to go to college,” Pauli said. “They gave me a second chance. I wouldn’t be able to do the things I can do without them.”
Pauli, who helped lead Dunlap to class 2A girls state track titles in 2017 and 2018, said she got the tattoo about a month ago.
“My mom wasn’t too fond of it but when she figured out what it was, she liked it,” Pauli said.
The tall girl from the small town is ready to move to the big city. She’ll run with her legs and keep her parents on her arm.
“Family is your strength,” Pauli said. “That’s why I got (the tattoo) put on my biceps.”