AFH Community Hero - Athletes for Hope

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AFH Community Hero

Serving Her Community Selflessly

As Clark Atlanta student-athlete Zion Walters left school and arrived at the Boys and Girls Club in her Arizona hometown, she sprinted over to the Xbox Connect to try and get in on the XX game. Becoming a mentor, a teacher, and a friend to kids of all ages and walks of life was something Zion had envisioned for herself from a young age. It is for these reasons and more that she is Athletes for Hope’s August Community Hero of the Month. 

Walters was a passionate child, so when she saw all of the older kids in her way, she dreamed of one day being able to play all the games she wanted after school. As the art and gym rooms transformed into the collegiate classrooms and basketball stadiums that she plays in today, she never forgot where she came from, and the dreams she once had. 

Zion Walters teaching a dance clinic at the Boys and Girls Club.

“When I was in the club, I never had anybody to do the things I wanted to do with,” Walters said. “You had the sports and the football and the gaming, but I was like ‘I just want to dance.’ There are kids that want to do what you have to offer, but nobody is coming to help them.”

Some of Walters’ main passions in life are dance, basketball, and giving back. During the course of the past few months, she has combined these passions into an opportunity for her dreams to become a reality. 

Children at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta have had the opportunity to participate in dance and basketball clinics, an opportunity Walters was not afforded. 

“Just seeing the smile on their faces and seeing how excited they were when I came in,” Walters said. “Seeing how much they practiced when I wasn’t around, their excitement made me want to keep doing it.”

The Clark Atlanta University basketball player has worked alongside Athletes for Hope to make a difference week in and week out. Despite a busy schedule that includes practices, games, rehab, study sessions, and classes, Walters always seems to find a way to hold clinics for the Boys and Girls Club. 

Zion Walters teaching a basketball clinic at the Boys & Girls Club.

Walters had a vision for how she can better the area around her, and is doing everything in her power to help shape the future generations of Atlanta. 

It is not for the recognition, either. She works without a spotlight on her actions, yet continues to transform the dreams of the children she helps. 

“When I went to Arizona, after three days this little girl came up to me and she’s like ‘Hey, I just wanted to let you know your classes are so much fun. I’m usually sad throughout the day, but when you come I’m genuinely happy and I have so much fun,’” Walters said. 

Zion Walters poses with dance clinic participants at the Boys & Girls Club.

Moments like these keep Walters coming back in her free time and provide a reason for her fellow athletes to support their community as well. Whether it’s the cause or the area, Walters is living proof that an athlete can use their platform for so much more than sport. 

With time and effort, it can change lives. 

“We are, in a sense, role models for a lot of people,” Walters said. “If you have people consistently watching you, why not show them what they can do in the community? As an athlete, I know I have a lot of younger people watching me and I want to tell them that doing community service is great.”