Viva Kreis

Belle Vernon Area High School
Belle Vernon, PA

Define Your Own Destiny

She has the will. She makes the way. 

As a high school senior, Viva Kreis has already amassed a resume of accomplishments that rivals even the most ambitious of bucket lists. She’s hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, finished a half marathon, and traversed the Grand Canyon from North to South Rim. She’s attended WNBA games in all 12 markets and personally interviewed league players, coaches, and executives. She’s traveled and competed internationally with the USA Team Handball Team. Perhaps what’s most impressive is that none of these opportunities were handed to her. She’s had to relentlessly pursue each one. In Viva’s opinion, that has made each experience all the more rewarding.

“When I first discovered team handball in 8th grade gym class, I had no idea that in three years I would be representing Team USA while playing the sport in the World Championships,” she says. Despite being an underrepresented sport in the USA with limited opportunities to play in her area, and even through the challenges of the global pandemic, Viva kept finding ways to perfect her newfound passion while participating at the varsity level in three other high school sports. “I dove deeper into the USA Team Handball (USATH) organization, learning of the opportunity to serve on the Youth Advisory Council, where I now work to increase the exposure of team handball in the United States through USATH social media accounts.” In February 2022, Viva was one of just 16 athletes to make the USA Team Handball Junior National Team and has since had opportunities to compete at the Olympic level across the globe.

Viva is not done achieving major feats in sports. She will attend the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University where she plans to pursue her career goal of becoming a broadcaster for women’s sports. However, athletics is just one arena where she makes things happen. Academically, she’s at the head of her class. In her community, she not only participates, but she also initiates new programs wherever she sees an unmet need. She personally created a Sock-it-to-Homelessness drive, collecting more than 2022 pairs of socks for homeless veterans in the Pittsburgh area. In honor of a close friend who tragically passed away her freshman year, she organized an annual fundraising effort to raise awareness of suicide prevention. In these and all of her successes, Viva gives credit to the example her mom has set. As a single mother, cancer survivor, army veteran, lron Woman, and ultramarathoner, “My mom is my why,” she says. But Viva is ultimately responsible for the what, when, how, and where. “While my mom has enabled me to dream big dreams, I am the one who accomplishes them.”




  • School Record Holder
  • District Record Holder
  • State Record Holder
  • US Women’s National Team Handball Team
  • US Women’s Junior National Team
  • World U20 Handball Championships, Slovenia
  • North America and Caribbean Junior Handball Championships, Mexico City

Cross Country

  • Captain
  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-Conference
  • All-District
  • 3x State Qualifier


  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-Conference
  • All-District
  • Mon Valley Independent “Super 6”

Track & Field

  • Captain
  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-Conference
  • All-District
  • School Record Holder
  • Mon Valley Invitational 2x District Qualifier

Academic Honors & Awards

  • Valedictorian
  • National Honor Society President
  • National Merit Scholar Commended Student Award
  • Academic Excellence Award, The Challenge Program
  • President National Honor Society Member: Science, Social Studies, Spanish



School & Community Involvement

  • Class President
  • Future Business Leaders of America President
  • National History Day State Medalist
  • Hugh O’Brien Leadership Conference Attendee
  • WPIAL Sportsmanship Summit
  • Outdoors Club Leader
  • Sock-it-to-Homelessness Sock Drive
  • Michael’s Ovation Fundraiser
  • Bag Brigade Fundraisers
  • BVA Girls’ Basketball “Teddy Bear Toss” Half Time Program Leader
  • Veterans Leadership Program “Food Raiser”
  • Interact Club Member





“Success to me does not only represent an accomplishment, it describes the process that I underwent to achieve my goals and the lessons I have learned along the way.”

~ Viva Kreis ~