Community service is a mainstay among the expectations of Tennessee State University student athletes but this year an extra emphasis has been placed on the importance of giving back.
The student athletes and coaches have shown that they are up for the challenge and the last couple of weeks are an example of that commitment.
Senior Woman Administrator Valencia Jordan had this to say about the Tigers' recent volunteer efforts.
"Some of our community service projects are sought out by the individual sport programs, but most are solicited through schools and organizations in the community. Many schools have teachers, administrators and counselors who are TSU graduates and they invite Athletics; in particular, the student-athletes. Being on the new academic schedule has afforded time for us to utilize our Fridays for days of service."
Members of TSU athletics have been active in the community over the past several days with community service initiatives from the softball team, Lady Tigers hoop squad, cheerleaders, men's basketball and the Tiger Team.
The softball team volunteered at a Big Brothers Big Sisters Event last Saturday. The Tigers led field games, did arts and crafts, served food and coordinated the dancing.
On Wednesday, the Cheerleading squad visited Glenn Elementary School for College Awareness Week and ate breakfast with the students before leading them in a few TSU chants.
Athletics hosted an FCA Rally in Kean Hall Thursday night before both basketball teams and softball spent time at Neely's Bend Elementary School Friday morning for College Week.
In addition to participating in activities and drills with the youngsters, the student athletes spoke to the students about the importance of gaining a college education and about different majors of study. They also emphasized the importance of having strong fundamentals in reading, writing, math, and communication.
The Tiger team wrapped up the week at Frederick Douglas Head Start Center on Friday for their College Day.
The three-member group shared a visual display and talked to the students about the process of getting to college through athletics. As an added bonus, each Kindergartener in attendance received a ticket to the "Kid's Day" football game scheduled for Oct.31 in Hale Stadium.
"In keeping with the University motto, “Think, Work, Serve”, it’s only fitting that we fulfill the complete mission of the University; otherwise we have done a disservice to our students," Jordan continued. "Our student-athletes understand the expectation to perform well in the classroom and in competition. But the service component teaches perhaps the most valuable of all the lessons learned. With opportunities to serve as ambassadors in the community, they gain greater insight to what it means to be a good citizen and a good role model for the next generation. They are also learning to be givers and not takers. Community Service will ultimately help them to understand that their worth is defined beyond statistics and wins and losses and at the end of the day this will elevate them to greater success in life!"