#Goals: Meet Laurel Springs Alumna and Soccer Star Olivia Sekany
Photo Credit: University of Washington Athletics
Laurel Springs School 2017 graduate Olivia Sekany lives and breathes soccer – and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
The graduate student at the University of Washington has had a love affair with the sport for some time.
“I started playing when I was 7 years old,” she says. “Lots of my friends were playing, and I thought I would give it a shot. And I fell in love with it right away.”
Olivia’s competitive spirit and love for the game was apparent right away.
“My mom recognized pretty quickly that playing for fun was maybe not for me,” Olivia says. “So I kept playing and got more competitive over the years and then ultimately climbed the ladder on up to college soccer.”
The Turning Point for Olivia Sekany
All of that would not be possible without a commitment to academics, however. Looking back, making the transition from a traditional brick-and-mortar school early in her sophomore year of high school was the turning point for Olivia and her athletic pursuits.
At that point, it was clear to Olivia she had aspirations of playing at the collegiate level. Laurel Springs School was a means to that end, as it allowed her to balance her rigorous academic schedule with her extracurriculars. Enrolled in The Academy at Laurel Springs School, she took several AP classes, including AP Chemistry and AP Art History.
“AP Art History was a really cool class that I very much enjoyed,” Olivia says. “I still recall some of that knowledge back from time to time.”
Along with the engaging subject matter, Olivia says the Laurel Springs faculty were of a high caliber and set her up for success.
“Everybody was very accommodating, right off the bat,” she says. “Even though it was all remote and I was learning kind of on my own, everybody was super supportive.”
Speaking of support, no doubt Olivia’s parents have played a role in her success. Specifically, she finds her father’s story to be inspiring. She explains that he took a non-traditional path to achieve his goals, and made a lot of sacrifices along the way.
“Having him help me through my journey has been incredible,” she says. “He’s been an invaluable resource. I'm so grateful for him every day.”
Speaking of goals, Olivia is currently pursuing a master’s degree in communications and digital media. She describes the program as an “eye-opening experience,” though she’s not sure what she wants to do after graduation. In the meantime, she has her heart set on playing soccer professionally.
Fortunately, her education will provide a solid foundation for whatever direction she goes.
“I’ve always gravitated towards writing and journalism, especially during my time at (the University of California, Berkeley),” she says.
“There were some things that happened with the program and with the athletic department and I ended up working pretty closely with some investigative reporters who I had a really positive experience with. I appreciated getting to see the work that they did, and how they were able to use media, their writing, and their skill sets to really help people and expose injustice.”
Olivia’s admiration for this work is rooted in her own undergraduate studies in pre-law. As she explains it, there’s something gratifying about exposing injustices and problems within the system.
“I think I would like to try to use the skill sets that I've been afforded to be able to help people the way that they helped me and give people a voice who don't necessarily always have one. So currently, the plan is to probably go the journalism route. But then again I’ve got some other options on the table, too. I’ll see where I land after soccer…where I'm drawn."
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