A University of Central Florida softball player was one of 12 student-athletes awarded for community service by Conference USA.
Natalie Land, who will begin her senior year this fall, was recognized this week with a C-USA Spirit of Service Award for her volunteerism, good academic standing and participation in softball.
Away from the softball diamond, Land enjoys volunteering and spending time with kids – even when it means getting up early on a Saturday morning to do so.
“To see their faces light up is totally worth it. It’s the same kids, and you build relationships over time,” said Land, an athletic training major who has been volunteering since she was a freshman.
Land paired with a local middle school student in a Pen Pal Program, writing back and forth to help promote literacy. She also built confidence in youths with mental and physical disabilities as a volunteer for Miracle League T-ball.
While maintaining a 3.6 GPA, Land has raised money for the Central Florida Children’s Home Golf Classic, Walk Now for Autism Speaks and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Also this year, Land was named to the All-C-USA First Team for the second consecutive year, while also ranking among the nation’s best in triples and stolen bases.
Land also earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-District III Team and the C-USA All-Academic Team for the second time in her career.
She is a three-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll and a two-time C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal recipient.
Land oversees the community service group for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at UCF.