Former Wrestler Jed Pennell Continues His Education

April 4, 2005

More than 80 children ranging from six months old to 21 years come to the Oregon State campus every Friday Evening for a time where they can take part in different physical activities ranging from swimming to scaling up the climbing wall.

The program that puts this weekly activity on is called IMPACT: Individualized Movement and Physical Activity for Children Today.

And former Beaver wrestler, Jed Pennell, is right in the thick of it all.

Pennell is currently a group leader for IMPACT after volunteering for them previously.

And all of his work thus far, whether on the mats or in the classroom has paid off.

Pennell graduated with a 3.8 GPA while getting a degree in Exercise and Sport Science last year and now is working on his masters at Oregon State.

'I'm getting my masters of science in physical education, teacher education and at the same time I'm working on an endorsement for adapted physical education,' Pennell said.

And to help him out in his education, in May, 2004, Pennell was awarded a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate scholarship.

He was one of only 174 student-athletes from across the country to receive one.

So what keeps him coming back for more?

'I just love working with the kids; they're so spontaneous and free,' Pennell said. 'I really think that kids with disabilities are such good role models. They're always just doing the best with what they have.'

'I have yet to meet a kid with a disability that doesn't have some extraordinary talent. I'm learning a lot from them about living.'

IMPACT isn't the only area that Pennell has volunteered at his time at Oregon State. He also was involved with the English Language Institute on campus and has worked with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

After he receives his masters, Pennell knows just what he wants to do.

'I want just a regular physical fitness job, but hopefully wherever I work, I'll be able to work with an adapted class or just in general,' Pennell said. 'Now they're trying to mainstream and include some kids into the physical education classes.'

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