Standing in awe
Melissa Fellenbaum will always remember the first time she ever saw someone pole vaulting. “I… thought it was the most amazing thing, and I knew I had to try it.” She was involved in several sports as a kid, but vaulting “was a perfect fit… and [she] fell in love with it.” Now, almost a decade after she started, she “still can’t get enough of it.”
Making the right choices
Melissa graduated from Penn State Berks with an Associate’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. During her time there, she knew she would not be able to continue with her time on a track and field team, as Penn State Berks was without one. She knew she had to give it up for the benefit of her future. But after graduating, she decided to pursue Alvernia’s 5-year Master’s Degree in Occupation Therapy. This lead her to Alvernia and an unanticipated chance to once again shine in the pole vault.
Melissa was given a second chance, and she was not going to waste it. She was determined to push herself to achieve in a part of her life she thought she had lost. The last thing she wanted to have happen was let her experiences at Alvernia slip through her fingers and be a disappointment to look back on.
“It was never my goal to break records or to get a certain place at meets. My goal is just to do what I know I am capable of doing and not let challenges get in the way… I vault because I love it.”
Melissa became the first All-American in Alvernia Track and Field history and currently holds both the indoor and outdoor school pole vault records.