My Experience as a Black College Athlete

Since I was a young kid, one of my main goals was to become a college athlete. While many of my peers back in New Jersey wanted to aim for the pros, my dream was just to be able to compete at a high level in college. Now that I am able to live my dream, I now also realize the responsibilities that come with it. For example, while I represent a great school in Sacred Heart University(SHU), I also recognize that I represent the meaning of being a black man in America.

While being an African American is no easy task, I would not trade it for the world. I feel honored to be a part of a race that represents royalty and excellence despite all the hardships we have faced for countless years. Fortunately, the Sacred Heart community as a whole has accepted me for me even though I am part of a minority. For my track and field teammates and coaches, they are like my second family. Regardless if I am struggling or prevailing on the track, they all support me. This makes me want to push harder because it would be a disservice to my teammates and coaches if I did not give it my all.

I really appreciate SHU as well for its efforts for making all people aware of appreciating all Americans. For example, throughout certain days in February, there will be quotes made by both alumni and current students featured on various Pioneer social media platforms. This helped educate the student body the importance of the history of African Americans, which is a rich history in American culture.

But like everything else, SHU is not perfect. I do believe that the Pioneer can do a better job of creating an atmosphere that is more open for African American students. For example, I would love to see more African American faculty across the community. Having black teachers can create a trust within the black students here at Sacred Heart, and that will give them confidence to talk about things that they would usually keep inside. But that confidence can never exist if the black faculty only consist of cafeteria workers and shuttle drivers.

In conclusion, I am happy with my experience as a black student athlete here at SHU. And I will do everything in my power to educate future African American SHU students on what they will be entering in. Hopefully, this can inspire the Pioneer community to be even more of a family than what it already is.

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