2015 ADBA Scholarship Winner
Kurtis began his association with the American Pit Bull Terrier at the age of six showing in the Junior Handler classes at the local shows. His family was devoted members of the Salt Lake Terrier Association and he was always in attendance, helping out with whatever club chores were given to him on show day: i.e. setting up, cleaning up, scooping up… whatever … Kurtis had a willing attitude. He was a natural showman and earned many a trophy handling in the Junior Handler classes. At age 12, he moved to handling his own dogs in the regular classes, exhibiting two of his own dogs to their Champion titles. Beauty & The Beast’s CH Zipper, given to him by Pete and Darla of B.C. Canada has made a name for himself not only as a high quality conformation Champion but also as a stud dog as well as taking a ‘Top Dog’ Award. Zipper was the first participant to try the wall climb for the Salt Lake Terrier Association in Utah and set the standard for others to strive for in that event. Kurtis contributes his success with Zipper to his Mom and Dad and their encouragement to never give up and to push himself to train his dogs harder and never lose hope.
“Leadership”, Kurtis states, “is taking charge and being a role model for those to follow, and football is what led me to do just that. I discovered that what I did on the football field made an impact on not only that game, but in the minds of the kids who looked up to me. I have achieved the honor of being awarded Defensive MVP for my senior year in football as well as MVP of the Bear River High School Rugby team. I started playing Rugby for the fun of the game, but it became more than that. It was part of me, and I took to it good and fast. My coach said I was a natural athlete. Besides playing sports, I also have coached basketball and football, mentoring my cousins and neighbors.”
Kurtis will be focusing his studies at Utah State University on Criminal Justice looking forward to developing this degree into the Practice of Law or becoming a Fish and Game Warden. Hunting and fishing has been a big part of his childhood and the conservation of wildlife one of his current passions.
Kurtis’ supervisor of several years in the sales department of the feed department of the co-op Misty Johnson, describes Kurtis as a motivated and responsible young man with a high degree of integrity. She states, “His skills in communication with both customers and sales staff, as well as his dedication and attention to detail was the contributing difference that caused an increase in sales during his time working for us. Kurtis takes the initiative to identify problems and devise solutions. He also has the ability to inspire respect and cooperation in teammates.”
Great praise for someone of Kurtis’ age. We, at the ADBA would like to thank Kurtis for all of the hard work that he has done on behalf of our organization and the American Pit Bull Terrier. We believe that he will continue to contribute as he starts his education studies at Utah State University and he is the PERFECT recipient for the ADBA’s “Leaders Of The Future” Scholarship.