By Melissa Katz
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland student-athletes welcomed Hyattsville elementary school students and Rockville Latino youth group members to campus on Friday as part of Maryland’s National Student-Athlete Day activities.
Student athletes from many of the Maryland teams, including football, women’s basketball and track and field, came out to celebrate and give back to the community by treating the local students to a day filled with fun, food and activities all around campus.
“We as student athletes have some great opportunities here at Maryland, so it’s nice to be able to share our experiences with these kids,” senior Track and Field distance runner Bridget Nolan said. “I love being around kids and it’s fun to interact with them throughout the day.”
The students toured campus, listened to a few educational speakers, had lunch in Terp Zone and even enjoyed some friendly competition with the student athletes during instructional sports activities at the end of the day.
“Interacting with these kids is a really rewarding experience,” junior Track and field jumper Amber Melville said. “I love working with these kids, because they are always interested in hearing about our experiences.”
Former NFL players and Maryland football alumnus Kris Jenkins and Edwin Williams participated in the event. The two spoke to the group on the importance of education and shared their experiences as former student and professional athletes.
“To have this opportunity to come back to Maryland and speak with these kids is an honor,” former Maryland defensive tackle Kris Jenkins said. “It’s exciting to come back to my roots and really be able to tell these kids about my experiences.”
The annual National Student Athlete Day celebration helps recognize the hard work and dedication of many of Maryland Student Athletes both on the field and in the classroom, as well as helps continue to connect Maryland with the local community.