N4A Announces Student-Athletes of the Month for October 2016|
Oct. 10, 2016
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, N4A will highlight one or more student-athletes each month for their determination to achieve success regardless of personal, academic and emotional challenges.
For October, N4A is honored to recognize Rodney Adams (USF) and Alexi Aguilar (College of Mount Saint Vincent).
Growing up in St. Petersburg, Florida, Adams had a choice to make at a young age: play sports or fall to the streets. He chose sports. A three-sport athlete who excelled in basketball, football, and track, Adams was offered the opportunity to play football at the University of Toledo. Unfortunately, tragedy struck his family during his first semester at Toledo when his mother was killed in a car accident. A difficult situation for any young person to experience, Adams’ grades began to decline and he came to the realization that it was best to return to Florida and be with his family. That decision turned out well for him as the University of South Florida presented him with an opportunity play football. Adams was now closer to his family, found a major that excited him, and was able to continue to excel at football. He has showcased a great deal of strength and determination in overcoming the loss of his mother. Adams stated, “Life is much harder without my mother but I am doing the most to make sure that I am making her happy as she watches down on me.” He is on track to graduate in the fall and plans to pursue his dreams of playing in the NFL following his final season at the University of South Florida.
Aguilar grew up in Boyle Heights, California, a very dangerous neighborhood where gang violence and temptation exist. Despite witnessing his classmates and friends getting pulled into the gang life, Aguilar was able to avoid that life through engaging in the game of soccer. He used soccer as his outlet and it gave him a sense of belonging and family. The game led him to the College of Mount Saint Vincent where he started every game during his first season. Despite suffering an injury during his second season, Aguilar never gave up on his dreams of returning to the soccer field. Coming from Boyle Heights, Aguilar did not think he would ever be in college and now he is overcoming odds and excelling on the soccer field and in the classroom.
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 52nd 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.