the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mitchell Talk: Serving the Community

While on-the-field kicking is certainly a primary consideration for the Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award, it is not the only consideration. The candidates' community service and similar work also factors into the final decision. Related thereto, we asked some of this year's award finalists the following question:
Of the community service work, is there one that impacted or influenced you personally?

Gregg Berkshire, Ashland University
"The one community service project that impacted me the most would be speaking to the students at Ashland Middle school about setting and reaching goals in your life. Since I’m from Ashland and could impact the kids of the future from the city it meant a lot. It seemed like just yesterday I was sitting there doing the same things they were doing and now I was someone who had accomplished my goals and now I was able to stand in front of them. Seeing as how I knew some of them and was recognized by most, it helped them understand how setting goals and striving for them could put them in my situation in the future. So I think that helps them by keeping them on the right track in life and making the best decisions for themselves in the future."

C.J. Gradoville, Morningside College
"I would say it is a tie between the mission trip to the Dominican Republic and also Camp Quality Heartland. The mission trip was an experience of a life time. To travel to the poorest parts of the Dominican Republic and build latrines, essentially toilets, for strangers was humbling. The people were extremely grateful for our effort and they showed it. When we arrived, the families we stayed with would give every one of us their best bed for us to stay in. I could not believe the hospitality we received by a family of strangers. It was a trip that keeps me realizing how truly blessed I am every day. Camp Quality Heartland allows me to appreciate being a role model. To be able to bring joy to kids for one week out of a year brings joy to me. I love the ability to influence a young child's life by being a kid with him. You are able to see kid's who have been born with a tough card persevere and live life with no worries."

"Being involved as a Wharton School Peer Mentor has really impacted my career at Penn as it has allowed me the opportunity to interact with underclassmen and help guide and advise them about classes, professors, and the university as a whole. Looking back, I often wish I had a mentor to ask these same questions to when I was a freshman, but to be able to reflect on my overall experience at Penn and in the Wharton Business School and share that with fellow undergrads has been very meaningful."

"Cleaning up historic Oakland Cemetery was pretty cool. Seeing all the memorials to the civil war soldiers and others was awesome."

"Volunteering at the PADS homeless shelter definitely influenced my personality. The first time I went, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was able to have really nice conversations with many different homeless people. Being there and talking to these people was a real eye-opening experience and it made me realize how fortunate I really am. Some of the stories these people had were extremely sad; telling them to keep their heads up and talking about having faith in God was the only thing I could do to try to make them feel better. Every day, I try not to take life for granted and I thank the Lord for every day I wake up."

"I am very fortunate to play in a team that not only cares a lot about each other, but finds it necessary to give back to the community in every which way we can. Attending the "Real Men Read" event in Langston Chapel had a big impact on me because I had the opportunity to read to a group of ESOL students who had not yet learned the English language very well. I came from a similar situation coming from Mexico at a very young age. I know what it feels like to not understand, to not be able to communicate effectively, and to feel appreciative when someone that speaks my own language lends me a hand. I read the traditional "Clifford" books that were translated in Spanish to the group and they loved it."

"It’s hard to pick just one. Whether it was helping families protect their homes from a major fire we had in flagstaff during the past summer, or later helping the same residents protect their homes against flooding. These real life experiences showed me how quickly things that matter to you can be taken away or destroyed in a matter of seconds. Additionally, while visiting home I helped young kickers improve and develop their skills through a non-profit organization, “Snap hold kick.” This helped to improve their confidence in their abilities and increased their overall team work and leadership skills. I am able to give back to my community through the skills I’ve developed throughout my years of practice and affiliation as a player through the same organization."

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