Born and raised in Norway, Thea Tobiassen was submerged in a slightly different learning environment than Americans – one that focused on rigorous academics and work experience. But during the USF application process, she noticed an emphasis on serving the community. While Tobiassen said her Norwegian upbringing and working part-time during school gave her a maturity for which she is grateful, Tobiassen was excited about an opportunity to not only develop herself academically and professionally, but also to serve others.
She began her mission to become more involved within the community by pursuing a leadership certificate through the Center for Leadership and Civil Engagement at USF.
She continues to be a leader in her community through volunteer activities with multiple organizations. She is treasurer for Hope for the Homeless, where she administers the organization’s budget and tracks expenses and income. Tobiassen is a founding member of the organization, and helped raise $3,000 with a 5K run and volunteered with a local homeless shelter. Tobiassen also volunteers as the event coordinator for International Buddy at USF, planning events for over 100 domestic and international students promoting cultural awareness, and participated in Stampede for Service, where she served as a site leader for 20 students volunteering in the Tampa area.
She says this community service has contributed to an exciting journey of personal growth, but Tobiassen still maintains her Norwegian values of academic sucess: she has earned a 3.94 GPA and has also been nominated for the dean’s list each semester of her attendance.