BU athlete embodies model of citizenship

By Savannah Pullin

Focused, passionate and loving.

When asked to describe herself in three words, she used these adjectives. And every single one of them is right on target.

“Everything I do I’m really passionate about,” she said.

Baylor track and field senior Diamond Richardson was one of 10 student-athletes league-wide chosen for the Big 12 Chick-Fil-A Winter Community of Champions award.

“I feel really honored. It makes me sound more amazing than I am, though,” Richardson said. “To me, it’s just how I live my life, so I don’t think about it as working really hard.”

Richardson said the award makes her sound better than she is, but the criteria says otherwise.

The Community of Champions award is awarded based on three criteria: academics, community service and leadership/sportsmanship.

Richardson is a business journalism major with a 3.92 GPA. After graduation, she wants to get a position in public relations, although she is still unsure in what field.

Richardson has had two internships in the field — the first with Baylor Media Communications and the second with Buckner, a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping orphans, foster care children and other vulnerable adolescents. Through these experiences Richardson said she learned how passionate she is about public relations.

To receive the award, Richardson was also critiqued on her community service activity.

As former community service chair of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, she coordinated many of the service activities the girls were involved in.

Richardson is also highly involved in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, through which she has been able to assist with the Special Olympics and other outreach programs.

“They really try to encourage us to go when we can,” she said.

Richardson also volunteers with Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Girl Scouts Beyond Bars — a program that reaches out to Girl Scouts whose parents are in jail. Richardson said she looks just about anywhere for service opportunities, even if it’s just a one-time random activity.

Richardson’s track eligibility runs out next year, but she will still be at Baylor finishing her degree. She is planning on using this time to be more involved in the community.

“I’ve always wanted to do more stuff,” Richardson said.

She said she is excited about using her extra time next year to work with children involved with domestic violence.

Finally, Richardson received the Community of Champions award for her ability to display leadership on and off the field.

“When I first came [to Baylor], my perception of a leader was someone who was really bossy, and I didn’t want to be like that,” she said.

So Richardson found her own way of taking a leadership role by being a good listener.

“To me, being a leader is more of being there for people and hearing them out, and then at the end, giving them ways to stay motivated,” Richardson said.

After four years of experience on the track, Richardson has all the right advice to give to newcomers and people who just need encouragement.

She said she knows the little things that are said to her teammates make a big impact.

So how does this humble athlete have time to fit all her activities into her busy schedule?

“It’s just about balance,” she said.

She admits it was hard at first getting into a whole new routine, but after she developed a method, she stuck with it.

With this award, it appears to be working for her.