Service is an important part of being a student-athlete at East Texas Baptist University, and softball player Leah Akridge won an American Southwest Conference award for her time giving back to the community and to the people.
Akridge was named the winner of the 2021-22 CSA Women’s Community Service Award for demonstrating leadership and service to her community and others around her.
The CSA Community Service Award is being presented for the 12th time this year and recognizes a male and female student-athlete who best demonstrates leadership and action in promoting community service on their campus and community. local community.
This is the second time in four years that the ETBU has won the award, as Abby Weaver was the recipient in 2017-18.
A statement from the conference said:
Akridge, a junior softball player from Lufkin, won a four-year letter for the Tigers while maintaining a 4.00 GPA. Akridge served as a Thrive Underclass Mentor and volunteer intern at Immanuel Baptist Church in Marshall, where she participated in the annual Trunk or Treat event, annual fall retreat, cooked for bands of the alliance each week and helped prepare desserts for the locals. families during the Christmas period.
In addition, she has taught Sunday School to youth for the past three years at Marshall, in addition to serving in the nursery and teaching the First Baptist Church Lufkin varsity group when she was home for the summer. Akridge also volunteered his time to coach area youth softball teams and served in the local pantry throughout his college career. She was an active part of the ETBU Softball Pen Pal program in Marshall, where she and her teammates sent letters weekly to patients at children’s hospitals in Texas.
She has served as Chief Advisor for Rotary Youth Leadership and has volunteered at Trinity Episcopal School (Marshall), as well as MISD Elementary Schools. Akridge served on the ETBU Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Board of Directors and helped clean up the campground with FCA in Louisiana, prepared care packages for hurricane refugees, participated at Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, visited and sang Christmas carols to residents. of Marshall Nursing Homes, served with East Texas Open Doors, made blankets for children at Dallas hospitals, packed boxes for patients at Houston Children’s Hospitals, participated in the American Appreciation Concert and s volunteers with the Salvation Army for the annual Christmas bell ringing campaign. .
She was in charge of Tiger Camp at ETBU and volunteered at ETBU softball camps. In addition, she participated in the annual 9/11 race in Marshall and taught ETBU students English 1301 and 1302. Akridge also plans to participate in an upcoming mission trip to Ecuador this year.
“Leah is ETBU’s model student-athlete, who excelled in all of her endeavors during her time as Tiger,” said Vice President for Student Engagement and Athletics Ryan Erwin. “She is a leader-servant who is always looking for ways to serve and love others within the ETBU family, as well as the Marshall community. We are proud of all she has done during her time in Tiger softball team and ETBU and we truly deserve this recognition from CSA.