My Final Steps

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One week from today, I will be taking some of the most important steps of my life, both as a UNCW student and a UNCW athlete. It is crazy to think that once I take those steps across the stage at graduation I will no longer be a UNCW student, and once I run the final 400 meters of my track career, I will no longer be an athlete. My experience as a UNCW student-athlete has been life changing. I accomplished things both in the classroom and on the track that I never thought would be possible.

I represented UNCW on the national level at the NCAA Headquarters.

I was elected as Vice President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

I found a major that I was actually really passionate about.

I was the feature student speaker in a video that was played in front of thousands of people on the Jumbotron in Trask.

I broke a UNCW Track and Field school record with my best friends in the 4x800m relay.

I was one of 13 women in the nation selected for a prestigious NCAA graduate scholarship.

The journey hasn’t been easy. There were times when I questioned if the early morning practices and late nights spent working on projects were worth it. These last four years have shaped me into the person I am today. UNCW will always be a part of my identity. I will take the lessons I have learned as a student-athlete and COM major wherever I go. Every step of the way.

-Jaime Mangold

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