afh university Archives - Athletes for Hope

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Athletes in Action

Athletes in Action

April 2022 AFH University Recap!

As we approach the end of the school year, class schedules may be slowing down but AFH University service projects are as strong as ever. Take a look at some of the highlights below to see what AFH U student-athletes have been up to over the past month!

In Baton Rouge, LSU Volleyball served at a booth at the Baton Rouge Zippity Zoo Festival community event while LSU Athletics as a whole hosted a field day for middle schoolers at LA Key Academy. Student-athletes from Beach Volleyball, Gymnastics, Indoor Volleyball, Cross Country ran different stations and interacted directly with the students.

college athletes post with two children outside

“Getting to engage with the middle schoolers was so rewarding. You could tell they felt seen and for me, they helped bring laughter and fun to the whole field day.”

Ellie Shank, LSU Beach Volleyball

As part of their student-athlete week at Southern University, AFH U partnered with NAMI Louisiana to host a mental health awareness event. NAMI Louisiana director, Lashonda Williams, J.D. lead a discussion around stress management and the importance of whole athlete wellness, Nicole Wesley of Pennington shared an opportunity for female athletes to participate in a psychological resilience study, followed by a yoga session facilitated by former student athlete, Maya Anderson.

In Charlottesville, UVA hosted its first “UNITY Walk” which was was organized by SAAC Vice President and BOSS (Black student-athletes Offering Service and Support) leader Milla Ciprian. Working with groundskeepers, she says that the goal of the walk was to “educate our peers on the historical and lingering effects of the impact of structural racism from the perspective of Charlottesville community members.” In turn, this walk helped connect student-athletes at UVA with the Charlottesville community, an important step in improving the relationship between the two.

As citizens who live and work in the city of Charlottesville, there is an opportunity to learn more about the untold history of Charlottesville and its inhabitants. Our intention is to connect and begin creating a relationship with the local community.

Milla Ciprian
a group of UVA students stand in a street

Moving up the east coast to Washington, D.C., Howard Women’s Basketball assisted and cheered for youth with disabilities during a basketball game with athletes from KEEN Greater D.C.

MSU Field Hockey and Football promoted the Be The Match None Marrow Registry around campus by getting students, friends, and family members to sign up for the live saving registry.

“Be The Match is a great event to help educate people on the importance of bone marrow donation saving lives. It’s an event that my team looks forward to hosting every year and we are excited to grow the registry every year.”

Cara Bonshak, MSU Field Hockey

Last but not least, we had a wonderful session, “Creating a Social Justice Mindset” with student-athletes in the AFH U Sports Philanthropy Certificate Program. Track and Field runner Marvellous Iheukwumere spoke with student-athletes about gender and racial equality, sexual assault and chronic disease advocacy.

Join us in congratulating AFH University student-athletes for once again going above and beyond in giving back to their communities!

Athletes in Action

March 2022 AFH University Recap!

Three things are always constant in March at AFH: the weather starts getting warmer, the sun shines a little brighter, and our AFH University student-athletes are constantly giving back!

This year, our March activations mainly focused on disability awareness and inclusion opportunities with kids from all over the country. Our AFH U Baton Rouge campuses:

  • Began weekly baseball games with Miracle League which will go through May
  • Hosted a field day with LA Key Academy elementary students
  • Helped with a house painting project with The Walls Project

AFH U Howard student-athletes also worked with K.E.E.N. Greater DC players at a basketball clinic.

It was just fun being able to play with kids who have nothing but pure joy for the game. It reminded me of how I felt about the game when I was younger, so they truly are an inspiration to remember to be grateful for every moment on the field.

Raquel Latta #14, Southern Softball

Take a look at some of the amazing highlights in the gallery below and join us in celebrating these incredible student-athletes for bringing smiles to so many!

AFH Athletes in Action

AFH University Baton Rouge

It was a busy month for our student-athletes in Baton Rouge, which isn’t a surprise based on the dedication to service they so often exude.

Fresh off of a win, Southern Softball participated in a beautification project at Belaire High School led by Mayor Sharon Weston Broome. The team reorganized the library by boxing old books and giving the library a more appealing look and feel for students.

“Thank you Southern Softball and Athletes for Hope for serving the city of Baton Rouge!”

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome 

LSU and Southern Soccer facilitated a soccer clinic at LA Key Academy with over 60 elementary school children. Student-athletes led them in various stations teaching them the fundamentals of soccer and playing right alongside each other. It was a wonderful youth initiative and unity event for both campuses.  

Southern University Athletics, assisted by Southern Softball player and AFH U Intern Annelise “Ace” Corona, also held a Black History Month essay contest where over 44 high school students submitted pieces highlighting Black History in Baton Rouge.

We are so proud of our AFH University Baton Rouge student-athletes for all of their hard work throughout the month and know they will continue this pattern for the rest of the year!

AFH Athletes in Action

MLK Day of Service 2022

In late 2021, AFH student-athletes had plans set for MLK Day of Service in January of 2022. But when COVID-19 numbers increased with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, many of these events were cancelled or postponed. Did that stop AFH U student-athletes from finding creative and safe ways to give back? Of course not!

Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Southern University Women’s Soccer team prepped meals at a local shelter in Baton Rouge
  • Howard Women’s Soccer and Lacrosse assisted with a facility beautification project and food packing and delivery all over Washington, D.C.
  • LSU Beach Volleyball, Volleyball, Softball, Soccer and Gymnastics all helped with a beautification project at a local high school in Baton Rouge
  • Georgetown Field Hockey, Rowing, Softball and Track and Field made over 30 blankets for children experiencing homelessness

…and that was all in just one day!

Other AFH Athletes took the MLK Day of Service Pledge, committing to use their platforms beyond just January 17th, 2022 while the Howard University Golf Team shared why MLK Day is important and what it means to them:

Featuring Jada Richardson, Kendall Jackson, Richard Jones and Edward Whiten of Howard University Golf.

For so many across the country, “MLK Day” is a day off from work. But for Athletes for Hope and the athletes we work with, it’s a day on. This year was no different even though circumstances were a little more difficult to navigate than normal.

We are so proud of these athletes for carrying on Dr. King’s legacy and we know they will continue to do so throughout the year, and beyond.

AFH News

MSU Student-Athletes Hold Annual Food Drive

by Meredith Norris, Michigan State AFH University Intern

As we begin to navigate another COVID-19 pandemic holiday season, those who able, are eager to give back. Michigan State, a proud member of AFH University, acknowledged this and took action. 

Over a week’s time, MSU student-athletes held their annual SAAC Food Drive. Donation bags were dropped off at nearly 2,000 East Lansing homes. A week later, student athletes went back out into the community and collected food from those who donated. MSU also accepted donations at the home ice hockey game. 

“I participated in the food drive because I feel it’s really important for student athletes to give back to our communities. A huge part of why I was able to make it to this level of sports was due to the support of my community, and I want to reciprocate. It’s also just a great feeling to help those who are in need!”

Emily Petrosky, Women’s Rowing

In partnership with the Greater Lansing Food Bank, Michigan State student-athletes collected over 5,000 pounds of non-perishable food and hygiene products. The Greater Lansing community has been a huge supporter of Michigan State and its student athletes; the food drive is just one example of how student athletes try to give back to those that make an impact on their lives. 

“The food drive afforded not only me, but my whole team, the opportunity to give back to the community and help those in need during this difficult time! I am grateful for this opportunity to give back to a community that’s given so much to me!”

Talia Edmonds, Women’s Volleyball

We are so proud of all the Spartans who donated both their time and resources to provide non perishables and other necessities to those in need!

AFH University | MSU Spartans Give Back

Written by Isabella Legarza, former MSU Women’s Volleyball player and current Athletes for Hope intern. 


As we continue to move forward in this ever-changing world, a pandemic isn’t going to stop Michigan State Spartans from participating in community service. Since the fall, student-athletes have been under extreme COVID-19 protocols in order to compete in their respected sport. In honor of National Nutrition Month, Michigan State Student-Athletes teamed up with Athletes for Hope and Feeding America to provide meals for those in need in the Greater Lansing area.

After brainstorming COVID-safe service opportunities, Athletes for Hope presented a “Contact-less Food Donation Drive.” The Contact-less Food Drive provided multiple ways of involvement. Spartans were encouraged to collect non- perishables, where an AFH intern would be notified where and when to pick up the donations and drop them off at the Food Bank – keeping this COVID-safe. Another option was to encourage donations as low as $1; for every $1 donated 10 meals were provided in the Greater Lansing Area.

As the National Nutrition Month comes to an end, we are excited to report the great work that has been done. Over 8,000 meals will be provided to the Greater Lansing community. We are so proud of the Spartan participation. Together, we can connect, raise awareness and inspire those around us.