WORCESTER, Mass. - Eight Worcester State University student-athletes, representing four winter teams, spoke to nearly 200 students Wednesday morning at Norrback Avenue Elementary School.
Representing the men’s basketball team were seniors Cal Howes (Maynard, Mass.) and Jason Truax (Northborough, Mass.), while the women’s basketball team was represented by juniors Gigi LeMay (Grafton, Mass.) and Alyssa Espinosa (Putnam, Conn.).Senior Richie Custodio (Wakefield, Mass.), junior Rachel Jorge (Dartmouth, Mass.), and sophomores Sam Magee (Salem, Mass.) and Maddie Luciano (Salem, Mass.) represented the men’s and women’s indoor track & field teams. The athletes were accompanied on the visit by Worcester State coordinator of student-athlete support services Kelly Downs.
The Lancers spoke to the children, grades four through six, in conjunction with Worcester Public Schools’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, a college and career readiness system that provides tools and strategies to create positive organizational and collaborative habits and practices.
“Being able to go to Norrback and talk to the students was a great experience,” said Jorge, an elementary education major. “We are role models to these children, and by talking to them about the importance of collaborating with your peers, as well as the effort and organizational skills that a student-athlete needs is essential.”
“Having student-athletes from sophomores to seniors, as well as a range of sports and majors, allowed the students to see different perspectives and hear different stories that could have an influence on them,” said Truax, a mathematics major with a minor in secondary education. “It’s great to have an impact on younger generations, and that is one of the great things about being a student-athlete, especially one going down the path of becoming an educator.”
“I’m so appreciative of Kelly and the student-athletes for taking the time to come to Norrback,” said Norrback teacher and former Worcester State women’s tennis standout Shelby Jankins. “As a former student-athlete at Worcester State, it made me proud to see the University be so well-represented in our community.”