In honor of CHAARG’s 6th [!!] birthday, we asked 6 former Ambassadors to share their CHAARG journeys — in only 6 questions ; ). From their lives before CHAARG to the reasons why they became the leaders of their chapters to what they’re up to post-grad ++ so much more more, meet some of our OG CHAARG girls!

Meet Alyssa Ardolino — Penn State University’s founding Ambassador! Alyssa heard about CHAARG from OSU member, Molly Tavoletti, and she became a CHAARGtern Blogi before becoming an Ambassador in Fall 2014.

#1] What was college + fitness like for you before CHAARG?

College before CHAARG was fun, but I was less clear about my purpose + passions. I had some great friends, but I hadn’t found that many that had the same values as I did. I didn’t really enjoy the party scene as much as most people, so once I found other girls who liked to hang out on a Friday night, watching movies + making pizza, I was so happy. Fitness was a bit of a mess — I mostly exercised to change my body instead of to feel stronger or healthier + honestly, I thought about exercise a little too much.

#2] Why did you want to be a CHAARG Ambassador?

I wanted to spread CHAARG’s encouraging environment to Penn State and bring together girls who wanted to workout + do life together. It was a new lens for me to be able to work out to be stronger ++ I thought other girls could benefit from that perspective as well.

#3] What’s your favorite CHAARG memory?

There are so many, but probably our first formal together on campus. It was during my senior year, everyone got dressed up, and it was a totally dry event. Overall, I just enjoyed being with CHAARG girls [it’s truly some of my favorite memories of my life to this date.] It didn’t matter so much what we were doing but that we were all together.

#4] Do you have advice for a new CHAARG girl? How can she make the most out of her membership?

Don’t be afraid to go to an event alone! Especially as a freshman, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one in that situation, but you aren’t. Know that a lot of people are navigating this new season of life, and everyone at CHAARG events is super welcoming — you’ll be glad you went!

#5] What does being #inCHAARG mean to you?

Being #inCHAARG to me is about making your mental, emotional, physical ++ spiritual health a priority so you can pursue your purpose. It’s also about realizing that you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.

#6] What’s been the hardest challenge as a post-grad?

Learning to enjoy being alone. I think, if we’re honest, being alone allows us to acknowledge our true feelings/fears/hopes because there are no distractions — that’s super hard and something I’m still working through. It’s been a process for me to dive deeper into my faith, which is great but still challenging.

Currently, Alyssa is a Registered Dietitian at the International Food Information Council where she’s taken on a role of teaching other people about making peace with food + their body. *Where I’m at currently is practicing what I preach + not being overly concerned about food and exercise.* 

You can follow Alyssa’s journey through being an RD by checking out her insta — @gratefully_nourished.

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