Grand Rapids, Mich.-Cornerstone University senior Janelle Brown
has been named the 2011-12 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award recipient.
The co-captain from Midland, Mich. holds five school records for indoor and outdoor Track & Field in the race walk and has qualified for the NAIA National Championships each of her four years at Cornerstone. Brown is also a six-time NAIA All-American. She has qualified for three USA Track & Field championships and has been invited to the Penn Relays each of the past three years.
She is currently training for the 2012 Olympic trials.
Brown's servant leadership stretches across campus and the community, as she combines her major in international business with various service projects. She founded Cornerstone's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) program and has grown the group to more than 50 members, garnering two regional champion nods and a national rookie of the year honor. She has orchestrated several service projects in the community with SIFE, including a financial literacy program for underprivileged residents, teaching nonprofit organizations about social media, and providing networking opportunities for students. Currently, Brown is president of SIFE and volunteers at her church and at Women at Risk International. She has also spent two summers teaching English in China.
After graduation, Brown plans to intern at Sam's Club Corporate until August, when she will then spend a year in China working with a non-profit agency to help stop human trafficking. She says most of her time will be spent marketing jewelry made at a safe house, focusing on selling it in the European markets.
"Janelle is not just a student-athlete," cross country and track coach Rod Wortley
said in an interview. "She is a mature person who seeks to use her skills to affect significant, positive change in others' lives."
In order to be eligible for the Dr. Leroy Walker Award, nominees must be junior or above in academic standing, outstanding in academic achievement (3.0 or higher), outstanding in campus and community leadership, outstanding in embracing the five core character values of the NAIA's Champions of Character initiative, outstanding in athletic achievement, and outstanding sense of future ambition.
For more information, contact Dave Grube at [email protected]