July 16, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - More than 30 incoming freshmen student-athletes are helping make the Summer of 2012 a special one for some folks around Raleigh. Those freshmen, who are participating in the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes’ “Maximizing Academic Growth in College” (M.A.G.I.C.) program, are enjoying a unique opportunity to volunteer and be role models for children and visit the elderly in the downtown Raleigh area.
Last week, 33 incoming freshmen and two peer instructors (volleyball’s Rachel Frick and Rachel Harris of the women’s soccer team) went to Washington Elementary Boys & Girls Club to join students during their “Reading Buddies” time and to visit with the kids in the gym. Each NC State student-athlete was assigned a buddy or buddies to read with.
Wrestler Philip Koob had a meaningful experience with his buddies. “It’s important to read as much as possible,” he said. “We’re hoping to help develop their minds so that hopefully when they’re by themselves and want a story, they’ll pick up a book rather than turn on the television. Then when we were in the gym, it was funny to see a bunch of D1 athletes get tired by playing with energy-filled little kids.”
The excitement exhibited by the youngsters from their quality one-on-one or small group time with the Wolfpack student-athletes was contagious. Ralston Turner from the men’s basketball team said, “I had a lot of fun with the kids. They probably made me smile more than I was able to make them smile.”
“Working with the kids at Washington Elementary was a great experience,” said women’s basketball’s Ashley Eli. “It amazed me how much of a positive impact we had on them. They really looked up to us.”
During the next four weeks, these student-athletes will visit the Alexander Family YMCA to interact with the youth, a local nursing facility and the Raleigh Boys Club.