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|Club||Andy Bairner||MLU Storm||Mount Laurel||NJ|
|High School||Lori Quintavalle|
|Secondary Positions||M, CF|
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I have been an athlete my whole life. Every weekend has been filled with soccer games and track meets for as long as I can remember. It was tough at first, to balance it all, especially when I was younger. My family always supported me and we slowly learned how to make it work for us. My sister and I played the same sports, we were constantly at each others games, it became a family affair.
The lifestyle has taught me so much. It showed me time management, from doing homework on the bus rides to meets to taking tests early so I can travel for competitions. My determination on the track helped and continues to help me in the classroom. I am always working to lower my times and keep my grades up. The lifestyle is something I am not ready to give up. It is simply who I am.
Running has always been my outlet. When I have too much going on in my head I just grab my sneakers and headphones and go. I have a thrill for competing and a passion for the sport, you can put anything in front of me and I will give it my all. I want to run in college because I know I have so much more in me. I know that with collegiate training and the determination I have always had, the sky's the limit for me.
I have had many leadership opportunities throughout my high school career. I am not one to be a follower, I chose to make my own path and shape the way for others to join me. Some of my leadership roles are founding Pile of Smile Club at my high school, Pile of Smile Ambassador National Organization, HMHS Peer Leaders, Member Federation of Christian Athletes, Founder of Teams Work For Good Inc, Captain of JV Soccer team, and Representing my school at the ADL No Place for Hate Diversity and Leadership conference. Pile of Smile is a non-profit organization created in honor of my father, to raise money for children with terminal illnesses. My father passed away in 2013, after battling for 5 years of lung cancer. Our family friend, who was 8 at the time, decided to start this non-profit by selling her art to raise money. It started in Washington DC. Living in New Jersey, my sister and I wanted to bring it to the community around us, full of people who my dad coached in sports and loved. Starting a club, along with a non-profit aren’t easy, taking much leadership. Leadership has always been a big aspect in my life, so using what I’ve learned from my various leadership roles, this position came a little bit easier than most. Along with those characteristics helping me in life, they help me on and off the track. Whether it’s leading drills or helping the younger girls with workouts, being a leader has always been a characteristic of mine...
Pursuing a “healthy athletic performance” has always been something that is important to me. Growing up, my family always ate healthy and clean, with some ice cream here and there. But as I got older and my student-athlete career became more, injuries and soreness started to come into play. Active release and chiropractic work has always been something that's helped my body stay healthy and lose, so finding time to go 2 times a week became an important part of my schedule. Since I was in 6th grade, I have had on and off back issues, flaring up every now and then. Going from doctor to doctor, I finally found something that worked for me. After visiting an energy healer, I have been following an anti-inflammatory diet that has transformed the way my body feels, in the best way possible. Eating good foods makes my body feel good, especially when I am going back and forth from school to practice to extra curricular activities, putting the right foods in my body gives me the fuel I need. In being a student-athlete, the word “student” comes first. As important it is to be a healthy athlete, being a healthy students is something that’s been very important to me. Whether I am doing homework on the bus, or going right to tutor after practice, keeping my grades up has been as important as keeping my times down. Learning a little differently than others pushes me to work that much harder.
Volunteering and giving back has always been a part of my life. It began at our church; Sacred Heart Church in Camden, New Jersey. Each year we would set up assembly lines in the basement of the church and fill baskets with essential Christmas dinner items. We would spend months before asking for donations and collecting the food we needed. When I was little all I did was fill the baskets and double check that everything was in there; as I got older I began to deliver the baskets with my family. We would fill the car with as many as we could and go to the designated addresses delivering them, I always handed mine out with a candy cane. This then lead to Helping Women and Children Now; a local organization that raises money for children with premature birth and heart disease. Each year we would do a home makeover for a local family in a medial crisis. We would rip carpets up, add on decks, make sure everything was the most accessible for their family situation. As a little kid we would pick out the toys for the children’s rooms and decorate them, again as I got older I began to use the power tools and physical abilities to help.
Volunteering had always been something our family was passionate about; it was not until 2014 that Pile of Smile came about. This was our charity. It is a registered 501c3 non-profit in honor of my late father who lost his battle to lung cancer in 2013. We use children’s art and various forms of fundraising to grant wishes for terminally sick kids. I am the Ambassador for the New Jersey Chapter as well as one of the Founders of the Pile of Smile Club at my high school. In total we have raised over $17,000 over the course of 4 years. This was our family thing, we had always given back.
This past year my club soccer team created Teams Work For Good. We are a group of 19 of girls who have been playing soccer for more than 7 years together, we have been through it all. TW4G is a registered 501c3. Our mission is to first, develop our members to become community leaders and problem solvers of social challenges in our local, regional and global communities. Second, we accomplish this by identifying and meeting the needs of people and communities through our four pillars of support; participation in service projects, providing charitable giving, establishing corporate sponsorships and partnering with existing charities. Each month, we participate in a project to benefit and give back to the community. Some of these have been making sandwiches for homeless shelters, participating in Feed My Starving Children, collecting coats for kids in need, doing a book drive for the local children's hospital, we have found ways to get involved in the community around us...
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