Lady Mustangs value volunteer opportunities

Brittney Cottingham

Shatoia Gober hands back change to 4th grader at Sonic Day fund raiser. (Photo by Hannah Hofmann)

Saturday afternoon the freshman members of the Lady Mustangs teamed up with 20 kids from Washington-Jackson Elementary at Sonic on Kemp.

They raised $500 that the school will use for new equipment including computers and a shed for their playground.

Forward Andrea Carter adores kids so when the opportunity came to interact with them she leaped at the chance.

“As the girls basketball team, we think its only fair we give back to the community because they support us in so many ways,” Carter said. “So this is just one small way we can give back to the community just to say thanks.”

Carter said the kids, who were 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, were excited to meet the team and ready to work.

Guard Shatoia Gober said the event was to encourage the children to fulfill their dreams.

This is exactly what Washington-Jackson fund raising coordinator, Mary Blue, had in mind for this Sonic Day.

“Our kids see college students and relate to them,” Blue said. “They all need positive role models to encourage them that going to college is possible for them.”

Noel Johnson, head women’s basketball coach, devised a point system for the team to accumulate points throughout the year for service in the community.

At the end of the academic year, the “The Mustang Pride Award” is given to the player with the highest points.

Guard Lisa Hampton said community service as an athlete is key.

“We get support during the season from the community,” Hampton said. “It is our responsibility to give back and show them we are appreciative of their support to our program.”

Six points are given for individual community service, four points for group community service and two points for campus event service or attending and supporting a campus event.

“(The point system) presents an opportunity for each team member to venture out and give something back to the community,” Johnson said. “It is our hope to become ambassadors for our university, support the community, and promote and advance our basketball program and athletic department.”

The Lady Mustangs were also asked to participate in a mentorship program with Washington-Jackson during their school hours to assist with reading and homework.

Forward Taylor Dowd said she had fun Saturday getting to know all of the kids. Dowd is looking forward to joining the Washington-Jackson mentorship program.

Students who are interested in mentoring students at Washington-Jackson should contact Mary Blue at (940) 235-1196.

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