Rebecca “Becca” Skowronski, a senior in the School of Pharmacy, was attracted to the field when she job shadowed a local pharmacist during high school. Her career goals became more specific — to work in intensive care or oncology — after her mother was diagnosed with cancer.
While her mother underwent a second round of cancer treatment three years ago, Skowronski organized and continues to run Kick It To Cancer (KITC), a sports day for survivors, friends and loved ones. “Physical activity has always been an important part of my mother’s life,” she said. “Seeing her lose the ability to participate in the activities she loves is extremely difficult. I realized how many people go through similar struggles and how much I want them to know they are not alone. KITC works with the Carbone Cancer Center to provide kids, individuals, families, survivors, fighters — everyone — with hope and motivation by inviting them to spend a
worry-free day surrounded by the sports they love and the athletes and coaches they look up to. We raise awareness while raising money.”
With student-run chapters at University of Wisconsin System campuses in Stevens Point, Eau Claire, Milwaukee and Oshkosh, KITC has raised nearly $10,000 for cancer research. Most recently, a friend at the University of Minnesota hoped to start a chapter there.
Skowronski has maintained a 3.48 grade-point average in the face of challenging science courses in addition to Swedish and German. One of her teachers calls her “a model student,” and she is actively involved with the Academic Resource Coalition, a centralized tutoring assistance for students. Proud of her Polish heritage, Skowronski is also researching her Native American ancestry at the Wisconsin Historical Society. In her rare free time, she might be found in a pickup soccer game on the Kohl Center lawn.