Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Work Hard, Do For Others

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Recently I sat down with the head Men’s Basketball coach at Bethany College.
We spoke some about
basketball,
but mostly about life. He shared with me about a previous player
that did not respond well when faced with disappointment on the
court; whether it was a missed shot, trash talk from the other team,
etc, this player often reacted in a selfish way, draining the energy
from the rest of the team. Coach pulled him into his office and told
him “the two things we focus on as a team are work hard, do for
others”. Confidence comes from working hard and being prepared.
When focusing on others, you can’t help but get out of your own
self pity and feel good.

This hit home for me. The last two years have been challenging for me as
I
’ve overcome the death of my grandma, my best friend. Fighting to regain
my confidence, I found that when I set my focus on helping others,
not only was I making them feel good but for that moment I forgot
about my own circumstance.

From a young age, I began volunteering at our local food bank. My AAU
basketball team has served Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless. My
Goldcrown team has adopted
families
at Christmas, personally delivering Christmas presents to families in
need. I’ve spent time with the Special Olympics, referee’ing
basketball games for these amazing kids. Not to mention the hours
I’ve poured into our local youth at basketball camps. It feels
good to spend time and make connections with these kids.

What’s special about the Bethany Men’s Basketball team is the “pen-pal”
program with the local elementary school. Each player is paired with
a third grader. They write letters, eat lunch together both at the
elementary school and at the college cafeteria. They become mentors
to these kids, role models they can look up to.

During my visit as I toured the small town of Lindsborg KS, I found the
college is involved with the entire community. This particular
weekend the town was prepping for the Lindsborg in Bloom festival.
Several athletic teams, sororities, fraternities, and academic teams
volunteered their time to help local businesses set up booths, jump
houses for kids, etc. The entire community came together to help
raise money for a local young man that was recently diagnosed with
cancer. This is the type of community I want to
immerse
myself in. A community that bands together for the support of
another.

They say your college years are when you really find out who you are as a
person. For most of us, it is the first experience of total freedom
to explore our likes, dislikes, talents, what we want to accomplish.
I
’m thankful for my talk with Coach, and am excited for what the future
holds. I’m ready to dive in to the culture of Bethany, to focus my
time not only on the experiences of college, but also on continuing
the tradition of serving others.


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