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‘Voices Matter’: Multicultural Day gives us a look in on the life of a student athlete

President Luis Sanchez congratulates Isabel Ayala, Mia Moore, Breanna Calhoun, Barbara Rangel. Sarah Soto, and Jazmin Carrasco (left to right) of the woman's basketball team on April 9 in the administration building. Celebration was a part of multicultural day.

President Luis Sanchez congratulates Isabel Ayala, Mia Moore, Breanna Calhoun, Barbara Rangel. Sarah Soto, and Jazmin Carrasco (left to right) of the woman's basketball team on April 9 in the administration building. Celebration was a part of multicultural day.

Phoebe Jackels

President Luis Sanchez congratulates Isabel Ayala, Mia Moore, Breanna Calhoun, Barbara Rangel. Sarah Soto, and Jazmin Carrasco (left to right) of the woman's basketball team on April 9 in the administration building. Celebration was a part of multicultural day.

Phoebe Jackels

Phoebe Jackels

President Luis Sanchez congratulates Isabel Ayala, Mia Moore, Breanna Calhoun, Barbara Rangel. Sarah Soto, and Jazmin Carrasco (left to right) of the woman's basketball team on April 9 in the administration building. Celebration was a part of multicultural day.

‘Voices Matter’: Multicultural Day gives us a look in on the life of a student athlete

Moorpark College has won awards for their academic success over the years. The student athlete community on campus largely represents that success. Not only do athletes at Moorpark College have some of the highest GPAs on campus, but they maximize all the resources given to them.

Captain Council President, Emily Kratz and Athletic Director Vance Manakas put together a panel of five dedicated, determined, and diverse student athletes to inform other students on how they juggle everything that comes with being a student athlete. During their presentation, a common theme every student athlete mentioned was the outstanding resources that are offered to them.

The presentation offered some statistics of the athletic population and one of the results addressed that Moorpark College’s athletic programs are more diverse than its service area. Moorpark College’s service area simply identifies where student residents are coming from. According to the presentation, students are coming from areas like Moorpark, Somis, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, and Westlake, but all these cities have less diversity compared to Moorpark’s athletic programs.

“We have a very diverse community at the college, it’s not just one. Everybody is welcome and like family” said Kratz.

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President Luis Sanchez addresses the woman’s basketball team and other students during the celebration at multicultural day on April 9 in the administration building.

One of the most important statistics shown in the presentation was the difference in GPAs of a non-athlete student versus a student athlete. A non-athlete student has on average a 2.86 GPA according to the presentation, compared to a student athlete who on average has a 3.08 GPA. All student athletes must take 12 units of classes during the season to maintain eligibility to play.

“The difference between athletes and other students is we are determined and we take advantage of the resources given to us and it makes a difference,” said sophomore Ronald Reyes III, a track and field athlete. “The rest of the student athlete council unanimously agreed with this.”

“Our counselors and the entire athletic department make sure that we are getting out of here in two years and stay on top of us to make sure we are getting all of our classes done,” said Dañel Schilder, a sophomore on the women’s volleyball team.

Student athletes are going above and beyond to make sure that they stay on top of their grades while still balancing everything life brings them along the way like family, issues, and injuries in a timely manner.

“The hardest part for me was trying to manage my time better, but luckily we have our own athletic counselors to help us set up our class schedules around our sports,” said Victor Zuniga, a member of the track and field team.

Another aspect touched during the presentation was the topic that the athletic department is always trying to improve the resources afforded to student athletes in any way they can.

“Recently we have instituted a mandatory study hall for all teams,” said Manakas. “Many of our athletes did not know about this extra help but once they went, once they found out, they even went back for additional help after that.”

“In the new gymnasium, a Student Success Center was purposely established for athletes to ensure that they know receiving academic aid is not far,” said Manakas. In this center, tutors are present and study hall rooms are available for the athletes to go to.

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Freshman Breanna Calhoun talks about her experience with the team this year in making it to the championship game but falling short. She also mentions all the close friends she now has and how the team is like a family on April 9 at Multicultural Day 2019 in the administration building.

After listening to this panel Tuesday it seems as though transferring whether to play sports or purely for academics, these athletes are backed up by statistical information that indicates they will succeed after community college. The information from the presentation shows that these student athletes have the dedication and the academic desire instilled into them by their coaches and counselors here on campus. The population of this athletic community is one that is diverse and extremely driven.

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