During her time as a student at Montclair State University, Jennifer Okorie blossomed into a true leader. Okorie assumed the role of Captain of her school’s PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT chapter in August 2015 and made fitness fun on campus for 21,000 students for two consecutive years. We had the chance to chat with Okorie and she reflected on the impact being a member of our sweat sisterhood has had on her life and gave us the scoop on what she’s been up to since graduating from Montclair State University. Ahead, get to know more about the 24-year-old sweat sister.
1. Why did you want to become a health leader?
I’m a health leader because I know the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, I’ve seen firsthand the benefits of it, and I want to help anyone that is striving to live a healthy lifestyle, live one.
2. How was leading our health leadership program helpful to you personally? Did you develop healthier habits, lose weight, change your mindset, etc.? How did it help your peers on campus?
Being the PGS Captain at Montclair State University helped me grow as an individual. I became better at public speaking, working with people, and educating others. It helped my peers on my campus because they were able to learn more about nutrition and exercise. Even though I’ve graduated, my sweat sisters still reach out to me with questions and I love it! It’s a sisterhood that will never be broken.
3. Can you describe your favorite moment/event?
My favorite sweat show that PGS MSU had was when we teamed up with Victoria’s Secret PINK. We had a cardio kickboxing class and all of the ladies broke a sweat and had so much fun! Each and every participant left with some cool athletic wear from PINK as well!
4. What is your current profession and can you detail your job responsibilities? How has being involved with PGS helped you grow and successfully navigate other opportunities?
I am beginning a Doctor of Physical Therapy program this summer and I’m super excited! I learned so many transferable and valuable skills being apart of PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT. I learned how to effectively work in groups and manage my time.
5. What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?
In August 2018, I led a boot camp class in New Orleans for an organization called Umu Igbo Unite. Over 80 people were in attendance and it was the largest class I have ever held. It was an amazing experience.
6. When balancing a busy schedule, it's important to prioritize your health. After graduating from the program, did you continue to work out and eat healthily?
My schedule is definitely busy after graduating, but eating healthy and exercising has been such a major part of my life for so long that if anything, the changes in my schedule have motivated me to stay on track even more.
7. Share some of your favorite workouts and go-to healthy meals.
My favorite body part to workout is definitely my core and my legs. But for the past couple of months, I’ve been focusing on unilateral exercises. I find this to be more challenging for me. It forces me to engage my core to help with balance and I feel stronger! For meals, I love avocado toast on whole grain bread. I can eat it at any point of the day.
8. Are you still involved with our SWEAT MAKES CENTS foundation? If so, how do you plan to help us continue to make fitness fun and decrease childhood obesity rates in America?
Whenever I can share and educate young children around me, I am always jumping at the chance. I was apart of the PGS x Girl Scouts event that was held in July of 2018 as well as the return of PGS to NYC! For both events, I instructed a portion of the event. I will always support PGS because its mission means so much to me. I know how important health and fitness is to me and I want to teach other children the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
9. Why do you continue to be involved with PGS and SMC? Why should other young women become involved?
I love the mission and how much of an emphasis you all put on making fitness fun! Being able to break a sweat, be healthy, and not even realize it because you are having so much fun is simply amazing to me. Other young women should get involved because you truly cannot find this experience anywhere else. The number of skills that I learned during my time as the Captain at Montclair State University and the impact that PGS has made on the campus was truly amazing.
10. What’s next for you? What are your goals for the future?
I will be a Doctor of Physical Therapy in a couple of years and I am so excited to make a difference in my future patients' lives. The sky is truly the limit in my eyes because I know that I will still be involved with PGS in some capacity and I will still be teaching my JennoFitCamps! A long term goal of mine is to take the importance of physical therapy abroad and I will be starting with the country of Nigeria.
11. If you could offer one piece of advice to young women, what would it be?
Do what makes you happy. Life is too short to live day-to-day doing something that makes you unhappy or something that doesn’t fulfill you. I am so blessed that God showed me my purpose in life. I am able to make a difference in other people’s lives and also be filled with so much happiness.
12. What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?
PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT to me means that it is a beautiful thing to take care of your body through exercise and that when you are breaking a sweat, you are the prettiest because being healthy is a lovely feeling!
Want to join the PGS ambassador program? Applications opened March 1st and close on June 1st. Click here for more details.