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Apr 22, 2019

Student-Athlete Development Travels to Wilmington for Service Trip

Wilmington, NC. – Four Clemson student-athletes and two administrators from Student-Athlete Development recently traveled to Wilmington, NC to assist with hurricane relief, partnering with Virginia Tech, Duke and North Carolina. Altogether, 11 student-athletes and 5 administrators worked together at three local homes to repair siding, replace ceilings and flooring, and assist in brush removal and yard clean-up.

George Marks, a freshman from Raleigh, NC on the men’s soccer team, Oskar Aagren, a freshman from Malmö, Sweden on the  men’s soccer team, Audrey Viso, a sophomore from Baton Rouge, LA on the women’s soccer team and Cyan Mercer, a sophomore from Charlotte, NC on the women’s soccer team participated in the relief efforts. Tori Niemann and Sunny Dueland, Student-Athlete Development, traveled with the student-athletes and assisted in the planning and execution of the trip, as well.

By helping those struck by disaster with my student-athlete peers, we were able to not only serve them in a time of darkness, but also learn from them as people who remained strong in times of desperate hardship.

– George Marks.

The student-athlete and administrator volunteers arrived in Wilmington on March 15th and stayed in a local church until March 17th. Hurricane Florence made landfall six months prior to this trip, dumping 35 inches of rain in certain coastal areas of North Carolina and leaving behind significant, lasting damage.

Audrey Viso was able to work on a home where many parts of the ceiling were in need of repair from water damage. “Not only did we learn to cut out the ceiling and repair the drywall, but we were able to get to know the house owner and hear her stories. Getting to know the other ACC athletes throughout the trip was also very special because although we were all different ages from different sports and schools, we all quickly bonded and worked together to serve the community of Wilmington.”

The group prepared a spaghetti dinner on their final evening for a few community members that had suffered damage to their homes. All were able to share experiences and learn more about the impacts of hurricane damage.

Though the trip only lasted three days, the group was able to make an impact and build relationships with others from neighboring ACC schools and the community of Wilmington.

“I’m proud of our student-athletes for taking the weekend before their spring break to serve a community and stepping out of their comfort zones,” Tori Niemann.