Olivia Collavo

Growing up in a family of athletes, Olivia always understood the importance of movement. Her dad runs marathons, and from an early age Olivia loved going to races to cheer him on. She discovered adaptive sports while in middle school. Olivia was inspired by the stories of people who did not let an amputation or limb difference keep them from running—and the POP professionals who helped make it possible.

From then on, Olivia knew she wanted to pursue a career in POP. She asked her high school guidance counselor for advice, but the counselor had never heard of the profession. Determined to make her dreams a reality, Olivia took to the internet to learn about education requirements and shadowing opportunities. “In this day and age, Google is your best friend,” she says.

Her dedication paid off. Olivia went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from Binghamton University in New York, where she also played lacrosse. Olivia is currently completing her master’s in prosthetics and orthotics at Northwestern University. One day, she hopes to be a POP educator so that she can share her passion and knowledge with the next generation of students like her.

Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone. POP is such a welcoming profession if you just reach out and start the conversation.
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