SAINT LEO, Fla. - About a year ago, the NCAA publicized a campaign for college athletes to “go pro in something other than sports.” The campaign featured advertisements and commercials that stressed the “student” factor of being a student-athlete because, in all reality, a very small percentage of college athletes will ever have the opportunity to play at the professional level.
The campaign’s main concern was to focus on education as a student-athlete, rather than only focusing on playing sports, since the main reason for going to college is to receive an education that will help to earn a career in a desired field. It seems that some of Saint Leo University’s athletes took this public service announcement to heart; in fact, it seems that they are living by it.
Last week, Saint Leo University announced that five students were selected to receive special university scholarships to fund their participation in the Washington Center National Convention Academic Seminars. The same five students will be participating in the seminar in Tampa during the Republican National Convention from August 18th to the 31st. What’s cooler than having five Saint Leo students participate in the Republican National Convention? Only the fact that three of the five students are athletes.
That’s right. Sophomore women’s lacrosse player Nicole Sirota-Plotnikov, Junior women’s swimmer Katie David, and Junior men’s cross country runner Eric Dirth were all selected to participate in the Washington Center Academic Internship program at the Republican National Convention during the month of August. The two-week internship, which will require attendance at lectures and field placements at work locations, will allow the students to gain more knowledge about the political process while simultaneously witnessing it in action. After a further review of the applications, Washington Center personnel will place the students in specialized areas based on their interest, talents, and background.
Whether it’s a race, meet, match, or Republican National Convention, Nicole, Katie, and Eric are sure to do Saint Leo University proud. After all, most college athletes will go pro in something other than sports.
Story written by senior Katie Gwinn.