2021 Civic Leadership Award

Finalists announced for 2023 Civic Leadership Award, presented by EY

2021 Civic Leadership Award. © Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Jade Hewitt Media
Alexandra Licata
Apr 05, 2024

Athletes Unlimited’s civic leadership mission is to develop its athletes as civic leaders and elevate them as role models for the next generation of athletes and fans. The Civic Leadership Award, presented by EY, recognizes an athlete each year for their civic leadership efforts both during the season and in the off-season.

Any Athletes Unlimited athlete playing in a 2023 season who has demonstrated civic leadership both in season and in their off-season is eligible for this award. ​​The athletes are nominated by themselves or their peers, and these nominations speak to the depth of civic leadership activities they are involved in both outside and within Athletes Unlimited programs.

These civic leadership activities could include the athlete’s involvement in Athlete Causes, volunteerism, community service, fundraising, voter engagement, raising awareness, advocacy, and more.

The 2023 finalists include: Kaz Brown (Volleyball), Taj Cole (Basketball), Melissa Hawkins (Lacrosse), Madi Huskey (Softball), and Mira Shane (Lacrosse).

“Being a civic leader and actively engaged in one’s community are not just admirable qualities but also fundamental pillars of a thriving society,” Cole said. “They are especially crucial for the youth, as they prepare them for the challenges and uncertainties life may throw their way. The significance of civic leadership and engagement lies in several profound aspects.”

“I have become a strong civic leader through the energy I give on the field,” Shane said. “It’s been my mission to just show up and give 110% energy in so much of what I do. I’ve learned that supporting folks wherever I am on the field is how I view my role as a civic leader. I take pride in doing small tasks and ensuring folks have what they need to perform at their best self. Dedicating myself to this work the past 5ish years in my athletic and professional career has shown me that the best type of action starts with honest conversation and passion.”

The recipient of the 2023 Civic Leadership Award will be selected by a voting committee, comprised of: Sarah Francis(EY, Strategic Relationships Leader), Danette Leighton (Women’s Sports Foundation , CEO), Jenny Nguyen (The Sports Bra, Founder), Dona Rodgers (Morgan’s Message, Co-Founder, Board Chairwoman, and President), and Reshma Saujani (Girls Who Code and Moms First, Founder).

Previous winners include Cassidy Lichtman (2022) and Jazmyn Jackson (2021).

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