Alumni Spotlight on Sofia Ferrari
What have you been up to since you left Pinecrest?
After graduating from Pinecrest in 2014, I attended the University of Georgia for four years and earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science. During my years at UGA, I worked at the campus recreational center as a strength and conditioning staff member, became a certified personal trainer, met some of my closest friends, and developed relationships with several health and fitness professionals. After graduating in 2018, I began my journey to earn a doctorate in Physical Therapy from Mercer University in Atlanta. I am currently in my third semester of PT school and plan to graduate in May of 2021.
After leaving Pinecrest, I continued to play volleyball through intramurals at UGA and have participated in several outdoor and indoor tournaments with fellow PA alumni and best friend, Amanda Boyd.
How did Pinecrest prepare you for college and beyond?
Pinecrest is an environment where spiritual, physical, social and intellectual wellness is prioritized. Balancing academics with the other realms helped me develop a strong work ethic and time management skills. Pinecrest also provided me with several people who I call my best friends. These classmates were my support system throughout my college experience and continue to have an impact on my life.
How did your years at Pinecrest influence your career path?
While at Pinecrest, I experienced two memorable and impactful experiences that have shaped my interest in becoming a PT. As a senior, I had the privilege of going on a mission trip to Nicaragua. There I developed a passion for serving others and interest in a career where I could help improve people’s quality of life. Throughout high school, I played multiple sports, which developed my interest in studying human movement. Physical therapy was the perfect match because it focuses on how movement can improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.
What is your favorite memory of Pinecrest?
My favorite memory at Pinecrest was being the quarterback in the powderpuff football games for two years. Many of my friends even compared me to Tom Brady, but I knew that It would be hard for me to make a career in the NWFA…jk! War paint and all, we were very into it! So into it that my good friend, Abby Bohn, sacrificed her clavicle to recover a fumble. S/O to AB!
Was there a teacher at PA who really influenced you?
Coach Kane influenced me by pushing me completely out of my comfort zone to play soccer my senior year. He believed in me, although I had no confidence in myself, and although I still don’t like playing soccer, I’m glad he encouraged me to try something new!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope to be practicing physical therapy in either a sports medicine setting or an inpatient rehabilitation setting.
What advice would you give a PA high school student?
As a high school student, I recommend getting practical exposure to different careers that you may be interested in. There is nothing wrong with going into college not knowing exactly what you want to do, but it helps having shadowing experience in settings that you may be interested in to help guide you career decisions. This exposure is especially important if you are interested in a healthcare career, because it requires a lot of schooling and practical experience. For example, in high school and throughout the beginning of college, I shadowed various health care professionals like physicians, athletic trainers, and physical therapists, which helped me narrow my focus as I started my college career.
Secondly, I recommend connecting with Pinecrest alumni who have careers that you may be interested in and asking questions about how they got there and what they learned from their experience.
Lastly, I encourage you all to gain exposure to those who may not be physically or mentally similar to you. I had two incredible experiences in college where I worked with people who had various functional and/or mental limitations. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to expose yourself to people who are unlike you, because it gives perspective and teaches you how to respect ALL individuals, no matter their capabilities.