Athletes for Hope offers ways for college students and college student-athletes to make a difference while learning valuable skills through our internship program. Our interns help us carry out our day-to-day work and this semester, we have three new interns from Louisiana who are assisting us in a variety of ways. Meet Aubri James, TarynDeShay Antoine and Courtney Henderson.
Aubrion James is a 22 year-old first-year MBA student at Southern University and A&M College. Originally from Madison, AL, Aubri loves her family, staying active, and God. She will be starting her fifth season of eligibility as a pitcher and outfielder in spring 2021, due to the
cancellation of the spring 2020 season.
Taryn Deshay Antoine was born on September 23 in Alexandria, Louisiana. Her parents are Travis and Robertha Antoine. She is an only child beginning her 4th year on the Lady Tigers Softball Team. She has served on SAAC for 3 consecutive years and has been the Community
Service Executive Officer for two of those. She plans to major in Kinesiology Pre-Occupational Therapy.
“This fall I am entering into my 5th season on the soccer team at LSU. I am originally from Rogers, MN. I grew up in a wonderful community, so the emphasis that Athletes for Hope places on having a positive impact on the community is super important to me! I have worked alongside Athletes for Hope for the past four years while being a member of the LSU Student Athlete Advisory Committee. This year I have the privilege of serving as the SAAC Vice President. My major is General Business, and I am double minoring in Social Work and International Studies. I am really looking forward to this opportunity!”
On Tuesday, August 11th Southern Baseball partnered with Volunteers in Public Schools for a campus beautification project at Cedarcrest-Southmoor Elementary. With a donation from Mid City Redevelopment, the team of 50 were able to help beautify the school’s campus by cleaning and planting flower beds and gardens.
”It is always great to get out to help as a team as much as we possibly can. Giving back to public schools in Louisiana is extremely important and we’re happy to serve our community in that way. It makes us feel good and people we’re helping feel good.” – Hampton Hudson, AFH SU Basbeball
“I went to public schools in New Orleans. So being able to give back to public schools and give them the help they need is always important to me. It also gives us an opportunity to show our new teammates what it is like to give back. I hope they take something back from every community service project.”- Jacob Snyder, AFH SU Baseball
“We are excited to be here at Cedarcrest doing some beautification projects while the kids are away. When they come back to school after the virtual learning environment, they’ll come back to a great campus. We would like to thank Mid City Redevelopment for their donation of the tools. We had all 50 of our guys out here today and it was a beautiful experience. ”- Coach Kerrick Jackson, Southern Baseball
“We have had an amazing morning at Cedarcrest. They were able to clean out our school garden and make the entrance of our school very inviting. Even though we don’t have students here right now we are constantly preparing for their return. We would like to thank our community partners for working along with us for this project.”- Ms. Sylvain, Cedarcrest-Southmoor Elementary Principal
Athletes for Hope University teams continue to show their passion by getting involved in their local communities. This past week, LSU and Southern Soccer teams participated in TopSoccer’s annual jamboree on March 10th, at Burbank Soccer Complex in Baton Rouge, LA. TOPSoccer is a community based training and team placement program for athletes with disabilities organized by the Baton Rouge Soccer Club.
Soccer players from LSU and Southern had the opportunity to assist TopSoccer participants throughout the jamboree including leading drills and cheering them on after plays. Along with our AFH U teams, this event was supported by BREC, The Louisiana Marathon, Raising Cane’s, St. Lillian Academy, Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge, and The Arc.
AFH University teams in Baton Rouge celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in the MLK Festival of Service hosted by The Walls Project. This four day event consisted of painting blighted buildings and murals, planting community gardens and trees, stenciling house numbers on curbs for first responders, repairing fences, and hauling trash away from properties. The MLK Festival of Service was in partnership with a vast network of 70+ local community organizations. Over the course of the 4-day event, 9 teams completed over 650 community service hours.
“It was a great feeling to collaborate with my team and new people through service at the MLK Festival of Service”- Malik Blaise
“The importance of community service on MLK Day is to come together as one. I enjoyed helping out today and it was an honor to make a difference with my team.”- Javeayean Williams
“It was a wonderful experience coming together as a team to give back on MLK Day.”
“Dr.King always advocated for equality and for all races to work side by side together. With all of the problems of today’s society, it warmed my heart to see his dream in action as people of all backgrounds came together to beautify the city.”- Adriane Roberson
“It was great volunteering and an even greater feeling watching all the work everyone was putting in collectively come together. Together we created a cleaner and prettier neighborhood. Even in the cold everyone was excited and determined! Our team decided to volunteer because it is important for us to use our gifts and give back.” – Rufaro Chirewa
“Seeing everyone come together to build the community up was simply amazing. It was very uplifting and a great thing to be apart of as well as a great team experience.” – Makenzie Eddings
“Today was a great experience seeing so many people come out and devote their time giving back to the community. Everyone worked hard and did a good job on the paintings. –Khadijah Ahmad
“Last weekend’s service at the MLK Festival of Service was very inspirational. The murals were beautiful and it was a great team bonding experience.”- Taylor Coleman
“I appreciate this opportunity to give back to my community and help with the beautification process at the MLK Festival of Service.” -Arabella Hall
Southern Track & Field
“The overall experience on today was phenomenal! The enlightenment from individuals and team bonding was more than heart warming. We are THE Southern University Track and Field Team and we are proud to make a difference!”- Jamira Russ
LSU Track & Field
“Going out and doing something for my community was a small glimpse of what Martin Luther King Jr. did for my generation and future generations. It’s a good feeling to impact one person, but an even greater feeling to impact a whole community.”-Mikiah Briscoe
“On my way to help paint, the streets were lined with volunteers hard at work. It was so cool to work alongside so many people out celebrating MLK’s legacy.”-Erika Lewis
“I think it was a really good idea to celebrate MLK by spending the day using art to get to know new people and to beautify the community.”- Kaiyln McCarley
“It was an awesome experience seeing so many people from different backgrounds coming together to paint murals and brighten up the town. Despite the cold everyone there was happy to give a helping hand!” Sydney Mukes
“It was awesome to see the community getting together for a great cause and being part of it made it that much better.”- Marlena Cutura
“Being apart of an event that positively affects the community and celebrates a phenomenal hero was the most rewarding experience.”- Chrissy Pitre
As the academic year comes to an end, we want to highlight the efforts of our Louisiana AFH University teams have taken to help others this semester. Since January 2017, AFH Baton Rouge Teams (LSU and Southern University) have completed over 500 volunteer hours with a host of local schools and non-profits. The Tulane schools in New Orleans have all been trained and are ramped up for good things this year and next fall.
LSU now has 16 teams in the connection phase. Some of the highlighted connections include:
Softball is currently in season. They will be connecting with BREC Youth 360, Highland Road Community Park.
Cross Country connected with Let’s Move Active School McKinley Middle School on February 24th. On March 3rd, the team volunteered at St. James Retirement Home. They made flower arrangements and delivered them to residents. On March 24th, the team visited Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired and participated in their Fan Day.
Track & Field participated in the Louisiana Marathon on January 15th. They also visited Children’s Charter on February 24th and engaged students in physical activity.
Women’s Golf connected with Let’s Move Active School, University Terrace on February 22nd.
Baseball is currently in season and working on team availability to make visits to Louisiana Key Academy in May.
Soccer is currently in season and plan to connect with Boys Hope Girls Hope in the upcoming months.
Volleyball has connected with Arc of Baton Rouge Inclusive Sports program for three consecutive Saturdays. On February 10th, the team participated in The Tim Tebow Foundation’s “Night to Shine”, a prom night experience dedicated to special needs teenagers. Two players of the team have committed to coaching a youth volleyball team at St. Aloysius School and spend 5 hours a week with practices and games. They plan to visit Glasgow Middle School on April 18th and 20th.
Southern University student athletes worked hard this semester to work in their community. Some of those connections include:
Softball assisted with registration and set up for the Louisiana Marathon children’s race on January 14th. Following their season, they plan to connect with the Miracle League on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Volleyball participated in the Louisiana Marathon children’s race on January 14th by cheering on runners and passing out water at the finish line. The team has made visits to Let’s Move Active School, Progress Elementary every Friday this semester. They have committed to make 2 hour visits on Fridays until May.
Soccer will be connecting with BREC Youth 360 and the Anna T. Jordan Community Center.
Baseball is currently in season. They connected with FLAIM Elementary on Monday, February 20th and completed a Let’s Move Active School visit.
Tulane is rocking on connections in their community as well. Some of those connections include:
Men’s Basketball hosted a 2 hour Special Olympics basketball clinic that went really well. They are looking to host more events over the summer.
Women’s Basketball is helping with the Tulane Unified 3v3 basketball league. This is our second year hosting the league, which spans 3 weeks of competition on Friday afternoons.
Bowling volunteered at a youth bowling clinic recently that aims to keep kids involved in after school activities to stay out of trouble.
Men’s & Women’s Track & Field have started helping with the Special Olympics track team that meets on Saturday mornings. The Special Olympics team is hoping to send some athletes to a summer games event in Hammond, LA and the Tulane team is getting the kids ready for the competition.
Swim & Dive started a Special Olympics swim team that has already met three times. We are trying to secure pool space to continue the team over the summer.
Football completed a “Day of Service” with the university on April 13th. Some groups cleaned up in Audubon Park, others planted trees, and some sorted food at a local food bank. They will also connect with a cause over the summer.
Golf is currently at their conference tournament. Once season is over, they will work with First Tee and host junior clinics over the summer and fall.
Thank you to all of our AFH University student athletes for giving back to your communities. We look forward to seeing your impact throughout the summer and through the fall semester
AFH University athletes in Baton Rouge have been committed to the recovery of their community. Athletes have continued to put in work by using their platform to give HOPE to the citizens of Baton Rouge during the flood’s aftermath.
Southern Softball: Cristo Rey Charter School received 2 feet of flood as a result of the flooding. Last Saturday, Southern Softball helped them make their new building a home by setting up classrooms, the cafeteria, and creating an inspiration wall for students to come back to on their first day of school at the new location.
LSU Softball: The ladies of LSU and Southern Softball assisted in the cleanup of an affected home.
Southern Baseball: Assisted with a school clean in partnership with City Year at Banks Elementary School. The team also helped with the cleanup process at Living Faith Church by moving debris and furniture, mopping, cleaning windows, and painting.
LSU Volleyball: Volunteered at BREC Highland Road Community Park emergency camp. The ladies led a of class of 71 kids in the basics of volleyball.
Keep up the great work, athletes! We are very proud of your devotion to the Baton Rouge community.