April 17, 2018
CLEVELAND - As student-athlete development professionals who work with many students from all walks of life on a day-to-day basis, often times we encounter extraordinary stories of individuals overcoming extreme adversities. Although the odds may be stacked against them, these individuals have a drive deep inside them to succeed in the face of overwhelming challenges. It is working with these outstanding young people that makes the job of a student-athlete development professional so rewarding.
In an effort to recognize and celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of these individuals, the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) will highlight one or more student-athletes each month for their determination to achieve success regardless of personal, academic and emotional challenges.
N4A is honored to recognize Savannah Trujillo (University of Missouri) and Bryce Wilson (Saint Leo University) as April's Student-Athletes of the Month.
In the early fall, Trujillo was in North Carolina for a preseason game with the Mizzou women’s soccer team. It was there that she received news that no child should ever hear. After a seven-year battle with breast cancer, her mother was admitted to hospice. Trujillo hopped on the first flight back home and rushed to her mother’s bedside. Within the next 48 hours, her mother lost her battle and passed away. During this very difficult time, the Mizzou coaching staff and her teammates showed unwavering support. With the help of the academic staff, she was able to make-up all the classes and assignments that she missed while caring for her mother. Trujillo faced adversity head on, finished the soccer season and earned a 3.68 GPA while having to overcome the loss of her mother.
In the past two years, Wilson has lost two close friends at Saint Leo University. The first was his teammate on the Lions men’s soccer team, who was 19 at the time. He died while hiking in Switzerland. While grieving the death of his partner on the pitch, Wilson’s roommate tragically died in a car accident, compacting his grief. His roommate was one of his best friends at Saint Leo. In the span of less than a year he had lost two very dear friends, all while balancing his responsibilities on and off the field. In spite of their absence, Wilson maintained a 3.6 GPA and was unanimously named team captain by his peers.
About N4A: N4A, which has been in existence since 1975, is a diverse educational service and professional non-profit organization. Membership of N4A includes academic support and student services personnel who are committed to enhancing opportunities for academic, athletics and personal success for student-athletes. For more information on N4A, visit www.nfoura.org. N4A is administered by NACDA, now in its 53rd year, administers 17 professional associations, including seven for the separate business units that report directly to the athletics directors. For more information on NACDA, visit www.nacda.com.