BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 21 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. The 16th annual women's soccer Community Service Team follows:
Kat Rogers, Alabama
Kat Rogers was not only a leader for the Crimson Tide soccer team but also for The University of Alabama. A member of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Executive Board, Rogers served as the Community Service Chair, sharing and organizing local opportunities with fellow SAAC members and volunteers. During the year, Rogers helped create a dance video for a Night to Shine, to be shared with local members of the community with special needs. She coordinated opportunities for volunteers to read virtually with children in the community through Project Angel Tree and Alberta Head Start. Rogers was also a part of the SAAC initiative that sent letters of appreciation to Alabama staff members during the 2020-21 pandemic. Outside of SAAC, Rogers is also an active member of the Emerging Tide Leaders Academy, which is a two-year leadership development program at Alabama designed to build and improve leadership characteristics in student-athletes.
Bryana Hunter, Arkansas
Hunter has made visits to patients at the Northwest Arkansas Children's Hospital and volunteered with Tyson in their Fight Against Hunger campaign to help donate over 200,000 pounds of food to school districts in the area. During the pandemic she has been a volunteer for the Be My Eyes app and written letters to retirement homes. She was also one of the Razorbacks that made virtual HogCalls with students from local elementary schools this past year.
M.E. Craven, Auburn
Craven has not only served as a team captain on the field, but she has represented the program off the field by working on a number of service projects during her time on The Plains. Most notably, she has volunteered with Creative Discovery Child Development Center, working with young children to build social confidence and joy. She has also volunteered with The Exceptional Foundation of East Alabama, helping adults who have special needs develop their social skills in group settings. She has also served as a camp counselor/coach during Auburn soccer summer camps.
Kouri Peace, Florida
Sophomore Kouri Peace has volunteered 16 community service hours. These activities include the annual Climb for Cancer event where Gator student-athletes spend a morning playing sports with children who are fighting or recovering from cancer. She participated in the 2020 Night to Shine, an evening celebrating people with special needs. She also visited with pediatric patients at Shands Hospital and participated in other local community activities.
Jessie Denney, Georgia
Jessie Denney has a heart for helping others which she exemplifies by her acts of service. She has created a non-profit organization, Caring Senior Services, which serves residents of the Iris Place Retirement Home in Athens, Ga. Denney is a Discipleship Team Leader with Team United, serving as a mentor for on-campus ministry, as well as a leader with Reviving Athens, leading small groups into inner-city Athens to speak with, comfort, and pray with homeless and poverty-stricken individuals and offers support by helping them to reclaim their credentials to assist with applying for employment opportunities. She is a mentor at the Barrow Elementary School, sharing knowledge and life experiences with young children to help them achieve and exceed life goals and aspirations. Denney also takes advantage of numerous volunteer opportunities including I-Serve Ministries, Special Olympics, Relay For Life, Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, United Way, and at Clarke Central High School.
Peyton Rimko, Kentucky
Kentucky Soccer's Peyton Rimko is one of the most dedicated student-athletes in the Lexington community on the team. She has spent time in the recent months Zooming with patients at the local University hospital, helping to heal the spirits of those needing comfort. Additionally, the Westlake, Ohio native worked at the Lexington Senior Center and helped to serve, set-up and clean a Thanksgiving lunch. Rimko has an impressive 3.776 grade-point average, majoring in Biology. On the field, Rimko started in nine games this season and played over 870 minutes on the pitch for the Wildcats.
Courtney Henderson, LSU
She served as LSU's SAAC Representative during the 2020-21 academic year. Courtney has led the LSU Soccer team into great community engagement initiatives. After learning about The Parole Project, she coordinated a game day experience for previously incarcerated men as a positive and uplifting step as they re-enter the community. She helped in organizing several initiatives that the LSU soccer team completed this year. She partook in making covid care packages for retirement homes while also making encouraging cards for healthcare workers during the pandemic. She participated in two virtual events - the Big Buddy Dance Off and St. Jude Virtual Walk - while also making tie die blankets for a local women's shelter. She was able to help in coaching with the PARDS soccer club in Denham Springs, and she also coordinated the making of a workout video for a local school. And lastly, she helped the LSU soccer team create a body positivity video in the month of April.
Lonnie Mulligan, Ole Miss
Lonnie Mulligan has given back to the Oxford community in many ways during her time as a Rebel. She volunteered with the athletic department's Adopt-A-Basket initiative that donated 91 Thanksgiving baskets this past year to families in need throughout the Lafayette-Oxford University community. As a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), she helped assemble over 500 backpacks with non-perishable food items to donate to children in Tunica County and Quitman County for the Feed the Sip initiative in January. She and the Ole Miss Soccer program donated 24 bags of food items as well. In her free time, Mulligan also shares her love for the sport and empowers children through fitness and soccer techniques, volunteering with a local youth soccer rec league. She has also participated in community service events such as A Night to Shine, Reading with the Rebels, Rebel Rocks and Mac Brown's Awesome Lemonade Stand.
AK Ward, Mississippi State
AK has been very involved in community service activities during her years at Mississippi State. She volunteered with Legacy Hospice for more than 150 hours over three years, visiting with patients, helping with office duties such as paperwork, and created goodies and goody bags for the patients for holidays and various other times, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also spent time at Oktibbeha County Hospital (OCH) in Starkville for over 80 hours, where she answered phone calls, and assisted visitors and patients with navigating the hospital. Continuing her interest in medicine, she logged over 60 hours with Healthy Dawgs where she compiled information and data regarding health topics pertaining to the college population. She also set up booths and tables for the group and facilitated games and activities to help promote the information she compiled. A lover of animals, she volunteered with the Humane Society of North Texas during high school and then with Oktibbeha County Humane Society in Starkville during college, clocking over 25 hours of bathing and walking the dogs at the facility as well as helping maintain the facility overall.
Morcquess Oliphant, Missouri
Morcquess Oliphant has served others in a variety of ways since showing up on the Mizzou campus. She has logged 84.5 hours of service time. Much of her time has been spent with Star Light Reading, where she was able to read with children and discuss each book. Additionally, Oliphant has spent an expansive amount of time as an Urgent Care volunteer. Utilizing her academic field as a Medical Science major, she logged over 40 hours at an Urgent Care Center. She also spent hours serving at a hospital. The senior also spent time serving with the Food Bank, reading at an elementary school, and Adventure Club, a before and after school program for public elementary schools located in Columbia.
Taylor Fox, South Carolina
Since arriving on campus, Taylor Fox has impacted the Gamecocks both on and off the field. She worked with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) to sign Valentine's day cards to be delivered to the children at Prisma Health Children's Hospital. She also aided on two projects with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). She worked on a blanket drive that collected over 700 blankets and distributed them to Transition Homeless Shelter, Providence Men's Home, Hannah House and Oliver Gospel Mission. Fox also aided on a Shoe Box Drive that provided over 700 shoeboxes for two different schools. Each shoe box was filled with school supplies and wrapped.
Erin Gilroy, Tennessee
A member of the Tennessee soccer program since 2016, Erin Gilroy has logged more than 100 hours of community service during her time on Rocky Top. She has volunteered her time with several local organizations, including Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries (KARM), Big Brothers Big Sisters, Love Kitchen and East Tennessee Children's Hospital. Gilroy's extensive list of service projects also includes working with the 2nd & 7 Foundation, Read Across America, Read to Lead and Virtual Reading-reading books to local elementary school students. She also served as a mentor for local youth through VolsHELP. Upon receiving her master's degree earlier this month, Gilroy was presented with the university's bronze service medallion.
Team, Texas A&M
With limited resources and time available, the Aggies pulled off a tremendous "Turn It Gold" movement to kick pediatric cancer, which proved to be wildly successful considering the COVID restrictions in place. The 2020-21 campaign outraise the 2019 effort by nearly $1,000 despite drastic restrictions. In recent years, the Aggies "Turn It Gold" project has raised over $50,000, including nearly $9,000 last year.
Rebecca Rossett, Vanderbilt
Rebecca Rossett is an active participant in Vanderbilt's Dancing Dores program, which is made up of Commodore student-athletes participating in the annual Vanderbilt Dance Marathon - the largest student-led philanthropic organization on Vanderbilt's campus - that builds relationships with local children and families served at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt while also raising funds to help the hospital serve the children and their families through difficult times. Rossett also works throughout the year with Miracle Children that are part of the Children's Hospital's network, offering them the chance to be a part of the soccer program through active participation and interaction with members of the program.