The Student Philanthropy Council exists to provide meaningful ways to educate and engage students in philanthropy, developing students who will leave Olivet as philanthropic leaders in their respectful committees.
This month, Olivet’s Student Philanthropy Council has chosen Alex Terrell, senior education major, as the recipient of the Citizenship Award. Students who demonstrate Christ-like character, a servant’s heart, compassion, generosity, dedication and responsibility are given this recognition as a “Servant’s Spotlight.”
Terrell was recognized for her dedication to assistant coaching in Upward Sports cheerleading while completing her student teaching for her education major.
The Glimmer Glass: When you were given the opportunity not to coach for your student teaching semester, how did you make your decision?
Alex Terrell: To be completely honest, I was not the head coach. I was kind of more behind the scenes. Student teaching was just a lot. The girls [at Upward sports] are a big part of my life. It’s good to see the girls enjoying something that I’ve enjoyed most of my life.
GG: Student teaching is a big commitment and so is coaching cheer. How did you balance both?
Terrell: I work at least 20 hours a week. It was a lot to handle. I just helped make sure the cheers were on track with practices and such. It was hard to juggle with lesson planning and my student teaching class was more challenging then I was prepared for. It was an interesting transition into spring semester.
The GG: What drew you to education? What drew you to cheer coaching? Is there any connection?
Alex: It was a big part of my life. [Sports were something my family] went and did on the weekends together. I have applied to several coaching jobs in my professional career as well. [Regarding teaching,] my mom taught preschool most of my life and it’s just something that I’m really passionate about. You have to be able to care about your students. I can make sure my students are getting what they need.
The GG: It’s quite an honor to be nominated by a professor in your own field. How did you feel knowing you have been recognized for your work?
Alex: I was shocked just because…I’m not someone that steps out. I’m a commuter; I’ve not been really recognized really ever for anything. I’m really honored [to be recognized by] someone in my own field. I’m good at taking on too much. I just keep going with it and I do the best I can.
The GG: What would you say you have learned most from coaching while teaching and working?
Alex: I think that making sure you kind of keep perspective of what’s most important…making sure your priorities are in line for where you’re going. [I tried to] be present at the time wherever I needed to be that day.
The GG: Do you foresee incorporating any of this into your future?
Alex: Yes. I have applied for a junior varsity/varsity cheer position in Florida. I’m moving there in July before I get married. It will be teaching and coaching.
Final thoughts: I would just say how amazing the chance to be with Upward is for students of Olivet. It is a great way to be involved in the community. [Sports] help kids grow socially…that is something that every one should be able to be involved in at some point. It’s great that we pray with the girls. Its great to incorporate your own faith.
—Heather Halverson, copy editor