Penn State graduate and current reigning Miss Pennsylvania, Jordyn Colao, is spreading awareness for heart disease across the state.
Colao graduated in May with a degree in biobehavioral health and began her work with the American Heart Association five years ago after losing three grandparents to heart disease.
“It is definitely a calling for me to spread awareness because I really think that if our family would have known the signs and symptoms of a heart attack something could have been different,” Colao said. “I really wanted to really spread awareness and teach other people those signs and symptoms so awareness is really spread and they don’t have the same ending as I did.”
Colao visits elementary and middle schools to give presentations and educate.
“I really like to make them think and teach them how to make exercising and eating right fun. A great way to do that is through Jump Rope For Heart through the American Heart Association to raise money through exercise,” Colao said.
Colao believes that through her reign as Miss Pennsylvania she is given the opportunity to have a voice and influence people across the state and country and be a role model.
The American Heart Association is grateful for her work with the organization, Division Director at the American Heart Association Gina Klofft said.
“Jordyn has been to a few of our events and has spoken about her platform and how important it is for people to be passionate about the cause. She was also at our Heart Walk in Erie, at Liberty Park to be there for the kids and help get people excited about learning about us,” Klofft said.
Families involved in the association have also appreciated her dedication to the cause.
Jessica Brown-Colon’s son, Gabriel, was born with four heart defects and the Colon’s are a family spokesperson for the American Heart Association.
“My son Gabriel and Jordyn really hit it off when they met at an association picnic a few weeks ago,” said Jessica Brown-Colon.
The remainder of Colao’s work as Miss Pennsylvania will include spreading awareness through the American Heart Association as well as competing in the upcoming Miss America Pageant. When her official duties are over, Colao, who has received over $13,000 in scholarship money from the pageant, will be going back to school to become a physician’s assistant.