Student-Athletes Making the Most of their Opportunity at a CA Community College
Each Year the California Community College Athletic Association recognizes a male and female student athlete for their excellence in athletics and academics. Considered the most prestigious award offered by the Association, nominees are selected from among the 27,000 student athletes participating annually. In addition, the California Community College Counselors/Advisors Academic Association for Athletics (3C4A) annually selects award winners that have overcome significant personal and/or family challenges and in spite of all of the obstacles have succeeded. The link below shows examples of previous award winners who not only represent the outstanding scholars that chose to initially enroll at California Community Colleges but also those that have taken advantage of the opportunities provided by a system that can fulfill the dreams for those willing to accept the challenge.
Former Chaffey College safety, Damien Stafford, has overcome a lot in his life to go to college and earn a scholarship with the Nebraska Huskers. Going into his senior season, Stafford is looking for an NFL deal after earning his degree. Full Story
Having grown up with violence, drugs, and poverty in East Palo Alto, Mission College freshman Felicia Anderson is hoping to become a social worker, with a goal of mentoring youth and helping others who may face situations similar to hers.
Averaging 22.4 points per game, Anderson was named to the 2011-2012 California Community College Association All-State team, as voted upon by coaches. She’s Mission College’s first-ever All-State basketball selection. Full Story
West Virginia's Bruce Irvin, a high-school dropout who took to
the streets, turned his life around so he could play college
football. His football career as a defensive end began to take off
at Mt. San Antonio College where he became one of the top
out-of-nowhere recruits in the nation.
Diablo Valley's Brian Goins finds a home at Diablo Valley College. This young student-athlete comes from living on the streets with no high school education to being a star on the DVC men's basketball team with scholarship offers to four-year schools.
Soaring for headers or banging into opponents, Arnaldo Salazar plays soccer with no fear despite doctors' warnings to drop his passion. After narrowly surviving a car accident two years ago, Salazar has a new perspective on life, his education and a love for the game, hoping to take his talents to the four year level next season. Full Story
Shaky Smithson survived his childhood in Baltimore, growing up in a tough neighborhood and avoiding the temptations of the inner city life. He left his hometown to play football at East Los Angeles College, then moved to Salt Lake City to play at the University of Utah. He legally adopted his brother and moved him to Utah in order to get him away from the difficult teen years that he experienced. Now, Shaky is playing for a spot on the defending Super Bowl Championship Green Bay Packers. Full Story
Despite growing up in 20 foster homes and being warned that he would end up in prison one day, Tyrone Wilson, 28, of Tulare was sworn in last week as a member of the State Bar of California.
Ten years ago, he was a football player at Tulare Western High School, played at Fresno City College for two years and then at the University of Buffalo in New York, where he graduated with a degree in African-American studies. He graduated from the Buffalo Law School in 2009. Full Story
"I always loved softball," Cotta said, pausing as her eyes began to burst with tears. "I thought about playing every day, but sometimes people don't make the best decisions at young ages..."
Now, five years later and 38 games into a storybook return with
the undefeated Delta College softball team, Cotta swears she's
ready to go back to the state championships.
Worth the Wait
Four years ago as a senior at Warren High, Liz Javier was like
all of the friends she'd grown up with on the high school and
travel ball softball circuit: She had aspirations of turning those
softball skills into a college scholarship. And Javier received
plenty of recruiting letters and questionnaires while being
selected the San Gabriel Valley League's Most Valuable Player three
times and earning spots on the All-CIF Southern Section and
Press-Telegram Dream Team squad.
Ennis: Epitome of
But Ennis was most proud of his performance in the classroom this year. His efforts ultimately earned him a scholarship to play for Long Beach State.
"I had to do a lot of work in school and I got it done," said Ennis.
"That was the hardest work I had to do in my life ... It was a
good learning experience for me."Full
In Season To Forget, Walker-Brown Someone To Remember
Game day starts at 6:30 a.m. for Ebonie Walker-Brown, her to-do list longer than her vertical leap. She's been "through hell" in her 27 years, but now her focus stays sharply on basketball ... and her children ... and her 23.5 unit course load ... and her future, one of scrubs and stethoscopes — the attire of a high school dropout turned nurse. Full Story
Looking back, Justin Bricker doesn’t really remember putting an effort into his high school studies. Three years after restructuring his life and transforming his future, Bricker, having completed one of the more remarkable student-athlete careers in Oxnard College’s history, will transfer to Stanford next month to study electrical engineering.
“Once I realized I was able to get that kind of reward, I
took advantage of it,” said Bricker.
COM team helps Waters battle addiction through competition
Aaron Waters will be the first to tell you - he owes far more than his swimming technique and prowess to College of Marin coach Warren Lager.
Waters, a Drake High alum and the top swimmer on this year's Mariners squad, saw a bright, burgeoning swimming career that had already netted him a college scholarship begin to sink as a high school senior. The culprits: drugs and alcohol. Full Story