USG member, Nash Newberry, was the winner of USG's 2022 Spring Reflection Scholarship. This blog will feature Nash's winning essay! You can view this year's scholarship essay prompt here.
Winning Spring 2022 Essay by:
Nash Newberry - Graduate Assistant Equipment Manager with Clemson Football
"Growing up, I thought my life purposes were to be a good kid and become famous. These were my goals and aspirations: make my parents happy through my behavior and develop into a notable athlete. The interesting truth is I somewhat achieved both of these goals; I was a morally sound young person as well as an excellent athlete. Yet, I recognized that life was not truly fulfilling. I was selfish in trying to act cordially and do nice things. That was only to make me look better than everyone else around me. Thankfully, Jesus found me, stopped me in my tracks, and showed me that my life purpose is far greater than doing anything for myself.
Now as a professional in the sports industry, I feel that my purpose is simple: serve others through my role in athletics just like Jesus served all of humanity. He did so through love and sacrifice, so those two characteristics are the foundation for my personal mission. Likewise, my job as an equipment manager fits my purpose perfectly because that role is predominantly entrenched in serving the needs and wants of student-athletes and coaches. I feel that my calling in this job is to love and embrace the college players who I interact with every day. They all come to the equipment room with various trials and tribulations, and I receive the pleasure of pouring into them tangibly, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Certainly, it is necessary that I sacrifice many things to perform this role such as free time, job prestige, and often a high salary. However, this job allows me to display the joy, service, and sacrifice of the Lord. There is one question that I constantly ask myself: how does my life at work display who God is? Thus, it is my mission to honor God and do the will of God on earth through my work. Therefore, my purpose remains to serve the hearts, not the talents, of student-athletes in the ways of Jesus.
Over the past several years, my faith in Christ has allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and grow personally and professionally. Naturally, I have always been a laid back and a go 3 with the flow type of person. This mindset still exists, but I now understand the importance of being bold in my professional and spiritual lives. I came to Clemson not knowing anyone in the workplace, so that was a big leap from comfort. I thought I wanted to fit in and assimilate with my peers, but I felt God tugging at me to be different. Therefore, God granted me the freedom to not homogenize with the culture of college aged young men. Instead, I sensed Him calling me to be bold in my faith and interject Christ into the setting of college football. This has afforded me the opportunity to make authentic connections with people around me in athletics and see God work miracles. Through my obedience, God has opened so many doors to reach young people and plant the seed of Christlikeness into their lives. Because of the boldness to be intentional and engage in these genuine conversations, I have grown immensely in my personal and professional lives.
My gift is to love, serve, and care for athletes and coaches. Undoubtedly, this aligns with my current role in the sports industry. Hence, it is my responsibility to be a good steward of this gift that God has given me. Similarly, the most significant way I can serve people within my organization is by showing visible love and sacrifice. This includes tending to every player’s need as well as lending a helping hand even when it may not be my duty. Also, I can tangibly serve those in my department by bringing breakfast to my co-workers once per week. This simple act of kindness goes a long way in building trust and camaraderie with my peers. Moreover, this trust can lead to fruitful conversations about the love, service, and sacrifice of Jesus. Certainly, miracles can happen when God and food are present. Ultimately, by having an established and trusted relationship from being a staple around the locker room and equipment room, I can effectively navigate my way toward dialogue that encompasses eternal significance. 4 Overall, I believe the light of Christ will shine through my work as I create spaces for Him to show up and infiltrate the lives of those around me."
Thank you, Nash, for participating in this year's Spring Reflection Scholarship! We are also thankful to our sponsor, Helmet Tracker, for making this scholarship opportunity possible for all thirteen of our winners!
If you have an interest in taking part in USG's Reflection Scholarship program, be sure to apply for our Fall 2022 Reflection Scholarship.
Our team looks forward to hearing more encouraging and uplifting stories from the next round of our scholarship program.