, Research Paper
Society has continually bombarded us with the idea that African American athletes cannot be successful in both athletics and in scholarship. Growing up in a small rural town in upstate New York, where our high school has only five students of color out of approximately 680 students, I have had to face this reality. Throughout my life, as an African American athlete, I have continually been placed in a situation to prove to my school and to my community my ability to excel in both athletics and scholarship. This past year, I was reminded of the mindset of our community when the soccer coach told me to raise my grades, with no prior knowledge of my academic capabilities, because of the danger of being ineligible to play. This painful experience, along with many other similar incidents, has shaped my view on the stereotypical beliefs of my community and has given me a strong desire to disprove these preconceived notions. In the last two years I have been selected as an IAC (Inter Athletic Conference) 1st Team All Star Soccer Player and have been named to the New York State ODP (Olympic Development Program) team. I was also chosen as a captain to lead the Dryden Varsity soccer team. My scholastic accomplishments have also been recognized. Being nationally selected for the NASA Sharp Plus Program at Georgia Tech this past summer proved to my community and to myself my the academic strength and intellect that I possess. I firmly believe that because of my strong dedication and focus to school, athletics, and my community, along with my continual desire to achieve, I was able to receive the recognition and praise that allowed me to break the image that many community members felt towards African American athletes.