By Colin Anderson | Photo by Christine Woeller Photography
Myah Rietze, Senior Coeur d’Alene High School
While all high school students go through adversity and difficult times, Myah Rietze had a junior year that nearly altered her entire life. A traumatic medical illness would land her in intensive care for two weeks. More than 30 doctors and nurses helped get her through it, but her recovery was only just beginning.
“As an athlete trying to get strong and come back to play, the struggle wasn’t just physical. I was out of school for two months, missing classes and away from friends, and the mental struggle through that time was difficult,” Myah shared. “I didn’t feel myself, physically or emotionally, for nearly six months. This experience, although traumatizing, was also somehow inspiring.”
The experience from the care she received has inspired Myah to pursue a degree in medicine, specifically in child psychology. “Through education, research, advocacy and medical care, I hope to promote all kids’ inherent right to be accepted and included as valued and equal members of their communities. I believe every child should have an equal chance at a satisfying life,” she said.
Myah will pursue her studies at Carroll College in Helena, Montana, where she will also compete on the school’s soccer team. Myah earned letters all four years in both soccer and track, and was named Midfielder of the Year, Defender of the Year, and also put on the Region 1 All-League team for soccer during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She credits many of the coaches she’s worked with for helping her not only develop her skills but her confidence as well. “In both track and soccer, I’ve had coaches who sometimes believed in me more than I believed in myself. Their confidence helped me play to my potential. I am forever grateful for the unwavering support and encouragement of my coaches.”
Myah served as the ASB president, is a National Honor Society member, and is also ranked in the Top 10 of her class academically. She enjoys being involved in many aspects of high school and is looking forward to enrolling in college this fall. She’s also happy to be able to continue to compete in her favorite sport. “I love being a part of a soccer team. The strongest friendships I have are with girls I have been playing soccer with my whole life. I also love that soccer is a universal game. No matter what country you are in around the world, there will always be another soccer player to kick around a ball with,” she said.