Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Leadership lived: Student-athlete spends time off the field volunteering

As an outfielder on the University of Illinois Springfield baseball team, Adam Unes knows being a NCAA student-athlete means more than just taking the field and playing ball.

Unes and his teammates spent over 300 hours during the spring semester volunteering at St. John’s Breadline. The downtown Springfield facility serves daily meals to the homeless population. He personally volunteered over 50 hours.

“It’s a very humbling experience,” said Unes. “I think before this you tend to not really understand what these people are going through and what they might need, so when I come here it gives me an opportunity to kind of connect with them on a higher level.”

Unes is a junior Business Administration and Management Information Systems major at UIS. He’s a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee.

During the fall semester, he helped the baseball team build a Habitat for Humanity home on 5th Street in Springfield.

“It was a split level home, so we actually helped out two families,” said Unes.

As a student-athlete, he knows it’s important to stay involved in the community and give back to those who support him.

“When we give back to the community, they in return, come out and support us through athletics, but it’s also important from a moral standpoint to come out and help those who are less fortunate because its something they need. We need to learn that we can’t take things for granted,” said Unes.

As a team, UIS baseball spent over 1,000 hours volunteering in the Springfield community during the 2012-13 academic year.

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