Student Athletic Mentors support Trailblazers


Based on the idea that no one understands a student-athlete's schedule and challenges better than another student-athlete, MCLA recently added Student Athletic Mentors (SAM). The organization includes one or two players from each team on campus, including softball player Amanda Meczywor '15 of Adams, Mass.

As a mentor, Meczywor learns how to be a good teammate and an effective leader as she hears from a variety of guest speakers at variety of SAM seminars.

Each SAM is a resource for their teammates, whether it's academically, socially or emotionally," explained Meczywor, who also her softball team's captain. "I had a great experience being the SAM for the softball team last year. I learned so much about myself, my leadership style, and how I can help others on my team."

Meczywor also has served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) since she arrived on campus at the start of her sophomore year.

"I am truly passionate about Athletics at MCLA. SAAC is the voice of the student-athletes, so being involved means you are helping to better all the athletics at the school," Meczywor said.

"It has been a great experience to see all the work that goes on behind the scenes of the Athletics Department. There are so many dedicated student-athletes that donate hours upon hours of their time, striving to better the athletics programs at MCLA. I cannot praise the student-athletes that run SAAC enough!"

Meczywor enjoys the pressure that softball offers. "You can't waste time on the clock if you're ahead. You still have to throw that last pitch. Anything can happen to change the entire game. The strategy that goes behind every play is just mind-blowing."

Her favorite to be is on the pitching mound. "There, you have control over the entire game. The feeling is unbeatable. When I'm on the softball field, it feels like a second home."

Meczywor added, "I've been playing against my MCLA teammates in Berkshire County softball leagues all my life, so we knew each other already. This program is a family. We look forward to spring season where we can all be together.

"Also, being so close, my family can come to every game. Having the most important people in my life support to me at every single game made MCLA softball absolutely perfect."

A transfer student from Westfield State University, "I was welcomed with open arms," Meczywor said. "The upperclassmen made me feel part of the team right away. They became like older sisters who were there to give me advice, help with school, and have fun with."

Beyond athletics, Meczywor is a member of two campus honor societies - Psi Chi and Alpha Chi. She plans to continue her education in psychology after she graduates next spring.

"I want to help children who come from troubled backgrounds. My dream job would be to counsel children and make a true difference in their lives, because every child deserves to be happy."

She continued, "I love all the professors within the psych department. Each professor has gone above and beyond to assist me, whether it's staying after class to clarify a class lecture or offering to meet and discuss my future options within the psych field. I owe a lot of my success at MCLA to the amazing professors I've had here."