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EASTERN Student Spotlight: Vanessa Hurgunow, Exercise Science and Rehabilitation

VanessaEastern Center for Arts and Technology in Willow Grove started a new program this year – Exercise Science and Rehabilitation.  This program provides an in-depth look at the many career opportunities in this field, including how to treat sports-related injuries and provide personal training. Today we are proud to spotlight EASTERN Exercise Science and Rehabilitation first-year student/Upper Moreland High School senior, Vanessa Hurgunow.

While growing up, Vanessa struggled with her weight. She started her fitness journey at the age of 13 on her mom’s cycling bike, where she would invest 30 minutes a day. Before long, she joined a local gym. From there the passion for fitness moved on to powerlifting and even competitive bodybuilding.  She credits her school counselors at Upper Moreland High School for letting her know about the new program offered at EASTERN – Exercise Science and Rehabilitation.

That first day at the gym, Vanessa knew that physical fitness would play a part in her future career, but she wanted to learn more about careers in the field.  Before attending EASTERN, she took part in several classes at Upper Moreland High School that led her to her decision to pursue physical therapy as her postsecondary major, such as Human Anatomy, and Psychology, and is now taking a Good Eats class that focuses on proper nutrition.   

Vanessa plans to take advantage of EASTERN and Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Exercise Science and Wellness A.S. program college credit articulation agreement.  Successful completion of her EASTERN program could put Vanessa 8 credits ahead at MCCC, taking the place of MCCC’s Conditioning, Weight Training, and Weight Control, Safety and First Aide, and Prevention and Care of Athletic Injury classes. After completing the MCCC program, she would like to matriculate to a four-year college where she would receive her degree in Physical Therapy.  An additional goal she has set for herself is to become a certified fitness trainer and provide training on the side.

“Working out has always been my outlet where I can de-stress from whatever is going on in my life,” said Vanessa.  “It is my passion to see other people become healthy and get interested in their health and fitness. I want to inspire people to go to the gym and find a healthy balance in life.  The Exercise Science and Rehabilitation program is getting me ready for postsecondary. My favorite parts of the class are learning how the body works, the anatomy of the body, and where the muscles and bones are.  This is such an amazing base to build off of, and I feel like I am getting a head start.  My advice to a student interested in the Exercise Science and Rehabilitation program - go for it!  You will learn about all of the careers available in this field and it will help you to narrow down your own path.”