CONGRATS Penrose Middle School on winning the Middle School Mentoring and Sports Makeover week sponsored by SALSC!! We're excited to work in southwest Philadelphia the week of June 21-27, 2015! Want to join in? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or click here to donate now: http://bit.ly/1DTzcoe
Check out our recap video from our last service trip! http://bit.ly/1vFd2la
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Name: Ainslie Rhoads
School: Drexel University
Sport: Field Hockey
Major: Sport Management
The Drexel Dragons field hockey team started conference play last weekend. The next few weeks set the tone for the season and is where all their hard work is put to the test. Their goalkeeper knows what hard work is all about on and off the field. Ainslie Rhoads is the definition of hard work, passion and service leadership.
She first wanted to get involved with SALSC because she had heard amazing things about the group. Beyond her field hockey talents, she wanted to use her platform as a student-athlete to give back and help others. When Ainslie had the chance to get involved with SALSC she went to D.C. where her eyes were opened to how lucky she truly was as a student-athlete. She realized that as a student-athlete she had a special gift and a platform to touch her community and the lives of others around her. She said, “I truly did not fully understand the impact we, as student-athletes, can have until I attended the SALSC trip. By far the best week of my summer, maybe even year.”
The the summer ended and her year began, but she didn’t stop thinking about SALSC. “It showed me what my purpose is as a student-athlete,” Ainslie expressed. She realized that there are many ways to be a leader in life, but said her whole life up until this summer had been about sports. She was lucky enough to play on multiple teams, had the best equipment, and top level coaching and understood this summer how much she took for granted and how a lot of kids don’t get to experience that. “It is important for us as student-athletes to give back to the community." One of the moments that touched her most was when SALSC held the Let’s Move field day in Alexandria, Virginia. “A lot of those kids were so star struck that we were division I athletes. They told us about their aspirations to one day graduate from high school and get in to college.” Although, it was just a few days, Ainslie demonstrated what the SALSC mission is all about. She made the connection that made an impact and she’s the reason why SALSC is more than just a bunch of jocks trying to give back. SALSC is about inspiring communities and the chance to change lives for years to come.
As far as her mentors in life, Ainslie gives the high praise to her family. Her mom, dad and sister are all people that she has learned valuable lessons from. She intentionally chose a school close to home so they could attend her games. “My family pushes me to be the best that I can be and encourages me to step out of my own little world and try new things,” she said. “When I first told my mom about the SALSC trip, I was really on the fence about it. She basically said to me, ‘Why are we still talking about this? You’re going!’” They have always raised her to dream big and go for her biggest goals. “I know that they will continue to push me and support me in whatever I decide to do for the rest of my life.”
Finding a balance between school, my sport, and volunteering is not an easy task, but I genuinely enjoy all three so I manage to find time to get it all done. My parents have always taught me that schoolwork comes first no matter what. I have always tried to remember this, but as most student-athletes know, it is not always easy when you are invested in your sport. Luckily, our coaching staff is very supportive and takes pride in our team’s academics, so they make it pretty easy to find a good balance. Volunteering is something that brings out the best in everyone. I had volunteered quite a few times prior to my SALSC experience in Washington, D.C. but the trip really changed my perspective. I hope to get much more involved in the community both in my hometown and here in Philadelphia.
You have the opportunity to make a difference and influence others to live an educated and healthy lifestyle.
I never realized this until I spent that week with SALSC in D.C. It has really changed my attitude toward my schoolwork, my sport, and my community.
Encourage others to get involved.
As soon as I got back from the trip, all of my teammates and a lot of other student-athletes from our school were asking about it. They wanted to know how I got into it and what kinds of work we did. Everyone is curious and everyone wants to get involved. All it takes it someone to give them that push and really help pull them in!
Community service is addicting.
Once you start, the feeling of giving back feels so good that you won’t want to stop. Once our team is out of season, I plan to try to get us involved in some service projects. So long story short, tell your friends, get them involved, and have fun with it!
Come back next time for another “Spotlight” feature! Until then, enjoy each day and serve others! SALSC Love!
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