Olympic medalist Allison Baver to receive Alumni Achievement Award
Baver is being honored for her professional success as a three-time Olympic Short Track Speed Skater, National Champion, 2010 Olympic Winter Games Bronze Medalist, and founder of the foundation, Off the Ice, an educational sports movement that uses skating as a catalyst for success to inspire character values, goal development, and healthy lifestyles in children. It also brings skates, related equipment, and facilities to communities throughout the world.
“Off the Ice is all about skating your way to your dreams!” explains Baver. “It’s about separating fantasy from reality, and turning ‘I want’ into ‘I will.’”
As part of Off the Ice, Baver has also created four other nonprofits organizations focused on youth and skating: A Place To Skate, From the Start, E.D.G.E., and A Worldwide Race.
A Place To Skate works with organizations around the world to incorporate skating in their curriculum. The organization stresses achievement and team building. From the Start is a foundation dedicated to helping youth stay out of trouble by their involvement on the ice. E.D.G.E Academy provides opportunities for children of all ages to learn and excel at skating related sports. Finally A Worldwide Race provides skates as well as educational and athletic facilities for youth around the world.
Baver actually began her career "off the ice," competing in roller and inline skating. Growing up with the sport, she believes skating kept her out of trouble "off the ice" and focused on winning and being her best “on the ice.” She also believes that the lessons she learned and success she enjoyed on the ice helped her achieve her goals.
Baver, who graduated from Penn State Berks with a bachelor’s degree in Business with a minor in Marketing and Management in 2003, is putting her degree to good use. She credits her marketing savvy to the education she received at Penn State Berks.
“I didn’t realize until I got out in the world how big Penn State really is,” comments Baver. “When I would travel and tell people that I graduated from Penn State, they were impressed. I am really proud of the education I received.”
When asked why she chose Penn State Berks, Baver explains that she had more than one dream: in addition to her Olympic goals, she also wanted to earn a college degree. Penn State Berks helped to make both dreams a reality.
“The professors were very understanding, more so than at other schools” explains Baver. “It says a lot about Penn State taking success to the next level. Everyone there wanted to see me succeed.”
In addition to her impressive sports career and philanthropic endeavors, Baver is also a model with Wilhelmina Artist Management of New York. She explains that she joined the agency because as a powerful figure in women’s sports, she wanted to be a role model for young girls and to let them know that they don’t have to drink and party to be cool; they should just be themselves.