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4 Under 40: Laura Olsen

FAIRMONT — Laura Olsen is set to be honored at an upcoming “4 Under 40” recognition event, meant to honor those young people in a community who are up-and-coming leaders in the community. Olsen is a Physical Therapist Assistant with Mayo Clinic Health Systems, and she has lived in Fairmont for over five years. She and her husband Chris have 4 children. Laura is the Chair for Kids Just Want to Have Fun, as well as the Co-Chair for the Fairmont YMCA. She also serves as vice-president of the Fairmont Elementary Early Childhood and Family Education Parent Advisory Board, as well as several committees with Mayo Clinic Health Systems.

“I was born and raised in Estherville, Iowa,” she said. “I went to college in Sioux City, Iowa for Physical Therapist Assisting and graduated in 2009. I married my high school sweetheart just a couple of weeks after that.”

From there, Olsen and her husband moved around while he completed his education, before coming to Fairmont. She shares just how much she enjoys her work.

“I’ve worked as a physical therapist assistant for about 10 years, and I’ve always loved being able to watch my patients make progress. From day one I get to help them determine what goals they have for themselves and then find ways to help them achieve those goals.

I get to work with them for several weeks or months at a time, and it’s fun to see them improve in different ways. It’s really rewarding to see people get back to doing things that they love and things that they need or want to do for their jobs and keeping up with family.”

When asked about their decision to come to Fairmont, Olsen said it had to do with their love of small towns.

“When my husband and I were trying to determine what kind of community or area we wanted to raise our four young kids in, we just kept coming back to our own childhoods and the communities that we lived in. We wanted that small-town feel where it’s easy to get involved and you’re more apt to know people in the community, and where there were a lot of opportunities for kids.”

When nominated for the 4 Under 40 event, Olsen shared that she was very excited and appreciates what the event is about.

“I was really honored,” she said. “From the start, I thought it was a neat idea that will hopefully encourage the youth of our community and help them see that people notice when younger people get involved in their communities.”

Olsen also shared that, when it comes to success, that focusing on gratitude is key.

“I think it’s important to recognize those things you’re grateful for. There are those activities that you really enjoy or the parts of your community that are your favorite. Then think about how you can either enhance those in your current community or, if you move, about ways you can give back to that new community.

“There’s no idea too small or silly. So I think that if you find something that you’re passionate about or love, you’ve got to go for it. You’ll never know until you try.”

The 4 Under 40 event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 25, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Fairmont.

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