Hobson’s Dakota Auck looks ahead to a warm future

Christina Clinton
News-Argus Staff

Dakota Auck sits tall on her horse, Prairie, while waiting for her class at the State Horse Show.

Photos courtesy of Dakota Auck



Born in Central Montana 14 years ago, Dakota Auck (pronounced “Owk”) rolled out of junior high and took her freshman year running. With her future on her mind, Dakota hopes to make Hobson’s honor roll every quarter, but doesn’t plan to take the easy route. Preferring a challenge, Dakota enrolled in not one but two math classes.

“I was really hoping to get good grades this year. But I also like to challenge myself,” said the young teen. “I took two math classes, geometry and algebra I. It was a good challenge. I was up for it and ready to put in time to learn. I took them so I’d have opportunities to do harder math classes, calculus, trig.”

Showing not only book smarts but street smarts, Dakota added, “Also for the possibility of testing out of those classes [in college] to save money.”

She’ll need the extra fiscal edge; Dakota plans to attend dental school, and while her preference is to be a dentist, she won’t rule out orthodontia. “I’d really like to be a dentist,” she said. “When I was younger, I had teeth that went every direction, and I’m in my second – and hopefully last – round of braces.”

In the meantime, Dakota still has a few years to finish in high school, and if she could, she wouldn’t mind being an exchange student. Norway’s beauty calls to her, but in the midst of a Montana winter, her eye is on warm places.

“I’d love to go somewhere warm and get away from the cold weather. I took a Spanish class – Mexico or Spain. That’d be awesome. I really like the language,” Dakota said.

Even when considering travel within the U.S., Dakota reaches for warmth.

“I’d go somewhere with a beach, and warm,” she said with a laugh. “I would go somewhere in Floriday and the Gulf. We’ve gone there before and it’s amazing. I’d also love to go somewhere like Alabama or Louisiana because I’ve always wanted to go.”

Dakota can certainly cross off New York City and Washington, D.C. from her travel itinerary; the teen was part of a group tour last summer. She joined her history teacher, Mrs. Kynett, several of her Hobson fellows and Lewistown peers on an EF Educational Tour to the east coast. The large group – around 40 students, chaperones and the tour guide – hit quality spots, and Dakota loved getting the hands-on education.

“We saw the Liberty Bell, the Washington monument – I learned a lot along the way,” she said. “I learned about responsibility, because it was a lot of yourself having to keep track of your own schedule, keeping track of your money. It was a lot of fun.”

Her N.Y.C. trip was inspirational for the music fan.

“We saw ‘School of Rock’ on Broadway,” Dakota said, “We saw Times Square, went to Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. And the pizza...” The teen’s pause invoked a mouth-watering large folded, thin-crust slice dripping of sauce, grease and hot melted cheese. “It was good.”

Winter holidays now in the past, Dakota looks forward to the next round of fresh, springtime holidays. Out of the many to choose from – Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and the spring equinox – Dakota’s favorite spring holiday is Easter.

“My family gets together,” she said, “and we go spend time in eastern Montana because my Mom grew up there.”

When it comes to growing up, at 14, Dakota says she’s still figuring life out. “So far it’s been finding motivation to do really well in school and try my best,” she said. “In the summers, I do 4-H, an organization that helps me in my life, teaching skills to help me in the future. So that’s been an inspiration.” She paused, and added with a laugh, “And meeting new people. I really love doing that.”

Dakota’s 4-H focus is on animals.

“I do horses, pigs, dogs, and independent projects like fly-fishing – called sport fishing in 4-H,” she said. “I used to do rabbits,” Dakota added, “but I had mini-Rexes, and they were spunky.”

Dakota wound up parting ways with her rabbits, enjoying that one of her friends works with them instead. It seems she’s already learning that leadership isn’t about taking on everything at once, but realizing your own strengths and weaknesses; working together for everyone’s greater good, and to be kind.

“A lot of what you hear [said] is to be kind to others,” Dakota noted, “but you don’t hear about it [deeds]. They’re not talked about. It’s so simple – we should just be kind in little ways to others on a regular basis.”


What is your favorite part of the Fair?