STARKVILLE, Miss. – Being a collegiate student-athlete requires a tremendous time commitment to school and athletics but some go above and beyond with multiple community service projects to give back to the community that supports them. Mississippi State volleyball sophomore Ellen Stuart earned a spot on the SEC Community Service Team for her work going above and beyond in the Starkville community.
“I’m very thankful and honored to be recognized by the SEC,” Stuart said. “As student-athletes, we’ve been afforded great opportunities to play a sport we love while getting an education. The Mississippi State fans supported us so well this season; I’m just honored to able to give back to the community. I’d like to thank God, first, and all of our fans. I want to also thank my teammates and coaches for making this such a fun season.”
Stuart has been instrumental in Mississippi State’s recently formed YoungLife program, an outreach ministry for college students, and is currently a leader in the group. She is also involved in fundraising for YoungLife mission trips.
Other projects Stuart is involved in through Mississippi State include Breakfast of Champions for Starkville elementary schools and Bully’s Book Blitz for Starkville‐area youth. She also assists with Zeta Tau Alpha’s Valentine’s Day community project.
In addition to her work through Mississippi State, Stuart also gives her time to many other areas including Miracle League handicap baseball program, STM LifeTeen Senior Retreat, Steubenville Mid‐American Young Adult Leader for high schoolers, Oprah’s Children’s Home Volleyball Clinic, and PineLake Christian Kids Camp.
The defensive specialist from Austin, Texas, transferred to MSU after a year at Lamar. She appeared in 38 sets this season, while posting 11 digs and eight service aces.
“Ellen is a great role model on our team,” Bulldog head coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “She is always one of the most positive individuals and is extremely active in the Starkville community. In addition to her work off the court, she puts in a tremendous amount of time in the gym and is willing to do whatever it takes to make us a better team.”