Birmingham, Ala -- The SEC sponsors a Community Service Team for each 20 sports it sponsors. The Gymnastics Community Service Team represents seven SEC gymnasts, one from each competing institution. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. The eighth annual Gymnastics Community Service Team follows:
Alyssa Chapman, Alabama
Alyssa Chapman, who is planning to pursue a degree in pediatric physical therapy, volunteered extensively at a local physical therapy office. She also took part in the Easter Seals “Walk with Me”, Project Angel Tree as well as the Crimson Tide’s “Power of Pink” initiative, which raises awareness in the fight against breast cancer. She has also volunteered at the Community Soup Bowl, the Tide’s Halloween Extravaganza and with the Stallings RISE Center. A four-time Scholastic All-American, Chapman is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. She earned the Tide’s Lewis Each Courage Award as a junior and has been inducted into the Golden Key, Phi Eta Sigma, Gamma Beta Phi, Sigma Alpha Lambda Honor Societies as well as The National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Amanda Siebert, Arkansas
She has participated in several projects, including volunteering at the Seven Hills Homeless Shelter, a birthday celebration for underprivileged children, helping participants at a Miracle League baseball game, participating in the America Heart Association walk, collecting food items for the SEC Together We Can “Canned Food Drive,” participating in the Sweat Hogs program at area schools to encourage children to be active and fit, helping greet children for a visit with Santa Claus before Christmas in Barnhill Arena and assisting in hosting the Daisy Scouts on a visit to campus. Through Feb. 27, she had participated in six meets in a total of 11 events. He scores counted for the team nine times, including on vault in Arkansas’ first-ever win over Georgia, and in SEC road wins at Kentucky and Auburn. She was a member of the SEC Academic All-Freshman Team in 2010.
Kylie Shields, Auburn
Spoke with 5th graders at Richland Elementary…Visited numerous elementary schools and mentored children…Volunteered several times opening car doors in the morning for local elementary schools…Worked with the Read-to-Run race…Signed autographs and gave out candy in the Downtown Auburn trick-or-treat…Spent time at the local Salvation Army…Mentored local children through gymnastics camps…Participated at the Holiday Senior Citizen Gift Wrap…Volunteered at Camp Good Grief which is a day event for children suffering from the loss of a loved one...Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative…Academic All-American in 2009 and 2010…Listed on the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll in 2009 and on the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2010.
Elizabeth Mahlich, Florida
Since the summer of 2010, Mahlich has participated in more than 65 hours of community service…included among these activities are: At last October's Gainesville American Cancer Society's Sixth Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Mahlich and the rest of the Gator gymnastics team served as volunteers, handing out drinks and pink ribbons as the walkers finished the course. She also volunteered at a couple of Gators March for Babies events and visited patients at the Shand Pediatric ward. Mahlich was a counselor at last fall's Harvest Food Drive clinic, a gymnastics skills event for young gymnasts. Admission for the event is five canned goods, which were collected for Gainesville's Bread of the Mighty Food Bank Inc. In December, Mahlich participated in Gator Tracks, a program that UF student-athletes purchase and then deliver new shoes to children that need them. Gator Tracks provided around 500 pairs of shoes in 2010. Mahlich joined the Gator gymnastics team as they provided a meal to Winn-Dixie Hope Lodge residents in January of 2011. The Hope Lodge is a residence for cancer patients while being treated at UF's Shands Hospital. In the fall 2010 semester, she volunteered more than 40 hours at the Terwilliger and Chiles Elementary Schools, working with of youth who have trouble reading and writing and comprehending.
Kat Ding, Georgia
Kat Ding is a member of the UGA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which serves as a medium of communication through which student-athletes, conference administrators, institutional representatives and coaches discuss and take action on issues relating to rules governance, student athlete welfare and community service. In addition, Ding has also been involved in the following activities: Volunteered for the “Together We Can” food drive that collected more than 1,200 pounds of food; Volunteered her time to teach and mentor Special Olympics participants; Visited patients at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens; Volunteered at the Special Olympics Annual Run (SOAR), with proceeds benefiting the Clarke County Schools Chapter of the Special Olympics; Participated in the In Their Shoes Walk to benefit the fight against breast cancer in which the UGA team raised almost $9,000; Participated in feeding the homeless during the holiday season.
Storey Morris, Kentucky
Community service also has been a big part of Morris’ life. She spends time at the Hope Lodge, a home away from home for cancer patients and their families. She was part of the Cats Cultivating Character, a group of UK student-athletes who teach lessons of character to students each month, along with ringing the bell during the holiday season for the Salvation Army. This past summer, Morris went on a mission trip to Africa with several other athletes at the University of Kentucky. Named to the Frank G. Ham Society of Character, which recognizes Wildcat student-athletes who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model. Also a two-year member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Ericka Garcia, LSU
One of the most active community student-athlete volunteers at LSU, Garcia has taken it upon herself to reach out and serve the Baton Rouge community in her short time as a Tiger … Volunteered for LSU Greening Day when she helped beautify the campus by mulching flower beds, planting flowers, and raking leaves … Volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity building project where she helped build a house in North Baton Rouge by painting, caulking, and putting up walls … Participated in the American Heart Association's Go Healthy Challenge where she demonstrated and set up physical fitness stations for local children to go through, and she also worked one-on-one with the children to promote a healthy lifestyle to combat childhood obesity … Took part in Operation Christmas Child, a community service project run by Samaritan’s Purse where she filled a shoebox full of small toys, school supplies, toiletries and candy that was distributed to a child in a third-world country during the holiday season … Participated in the Wheels to Succeed program where she helped host this event on campus for kids with special needs, putting on a bike race for kids that ride adapted three-wheeled bikes and providing a carnival-like atmosphere by setting up LSU game day tents and handing out helmets, water bottles, balloons, snacks, and LSU temporary tattoos for participants … Volunteers in Public Schools Everybody Reads Program where she made a yearlong commitment to the program by getting paired up with an underachieving elementary student for the school year, and she meets at least twice a month to work on reading and self esteem skills with her reading friend at Dufrocq Elementary in Baton Rouge … Has made numerous visits to a local children’s hospital where she goes room to room visiting with patients and cheering them up … Participated in the Thanksgiving Turkey Carving Program that helped the St. Vincent de Paul homeless shelter carve Thanksgiving turkeys to serve the less fortunate in Baton Rouge ... Volunteered at Walk for the Cure where she worked the finish line handing out water and encouraging participants who were in the race to benefit breast cancer awareness … Interacted with patients with Alzheimer’s disease by playing games and offering encouragement at Charlie’s House in Baton Rouge.