I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t an overachiever in high school and college, but it seems like Olivia Penna may have outdone me. The Miss COED 2017 semifinalist and freshman at Colorado State University completed a Steadman Hawkins physical therapy internship WHILE SHE WAS STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL. In other words, she’s probably the most motivated high schooler in the history of like, ever.
Olivia hopes to become a “successful physical therapist,” and I definitely think she’s making all the right moves to achieve that. Get to know more about her below, and be sure to check back daily as we get to know each of our semifinalists a bit better.
Who do you look up to the most and why?
I look up to both my mom and my dad the most. They are the most amazing, kind-hearted, understanding people and I hope to raise my kids just as they raised me. They are honestly and truly the best parents anyone could ever have. They encourage me to do my best always and have made me who I am today.
Which organization on campus are you most passionate about and why?
I am extremely passionate about my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. I had never seen myself as a sorority girl until my mom made me go through recruitment. There, I met the most amazing girls and realized I’m not part of a sorority, I’m part of a family. I am in love with our philanthropy CASA as well. It really helps children that have been put in bad situations with their family lives and we help give them a safe place.
Cliché, but where do you see yourself in five years? Ready, set, go!
I see myself married to my amazing boyfriend (currently of five years) Keegan. I will have just finished my four years at CSU and will be in my first year of physical therapy school. Maybe even possibly having a puppy.
Give your BFF a shoutout! What’s his/her name and how long have you been besties?
My best friend since I’ve been a month old is Nicole Funk. I love her to pieces, and I couldn’t ask for a better best friend. She is like a sister (twin really) to me and I’m so blessed to have her.
What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
My biggest accomplishment has been completing a semester-long internship at Steadman Hawkins physical therapy in Denver during my senior year of high school. It showed me that I truly want to help people and make their lives better. I can’t wait to possibly do another internship there.
As Olivia stated above, she’s passionate about her sorority and their philanthropy, CASA. Through the organization, she’s helped raise money to assist children in difficult family situations.
What exactly is CASA, and how does your sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, help support the organization?
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. This organization supports court-appointed safe meetings between children and parents. These children could have been abused or in an environment that wasn’t safe for them. CASA promotes safety for these children and gives them a new environment where they can succeed. We raise money and awareness for CASA at Kappa Alpha Theta through events!
What is the most rewarding part about working with the organization?
The most rewarding part is how after you raise money for this organization, you realize how you have truly helped children that are in bad situations to have another chance at a better life.
What have you done personally for CASA?
My favorite thing that I have done for CASA is an event called Kicks for CASA. It was a giant kickball tournament that students and parents could attend. Everyone had a team and paid money for that team. It was so much fun and all for a good cause!
How can someone help if they aren’t a member of Kappa Alpha Theta?
Attending events held by local organizations that help promote CASA is awesome! Also, just getting more educated about CASA can truly help. It raises awareness.