Charlotte 49ers pole vaulter Jasmine Patterson is more than just a student-athlete.
Patterson, a Levine Scholar from Norwood, graduated in May with a degree in Spanish and economics. As a recent recipient of the Conference USA Spirit of Service Award for her work in the community, Patterson also can be lauded as a student-athlete-humanitarian.
“I’ve always been devoted to community service, from the perspective of wanting to help the community, and that it makes me feel good about myself,” said Patterson. “It gives me an amazing sense of satisfaction.”
In April, C-USA announced that Patterson was one of 16 recipients of the service award for the winter sports season. The league also declares winners during the fall and spring sports seasons.
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Patterson was nominated by the Charlotte Athletic Department. In fall, she will attend UNC Chapel Hill to pursue a graduate degree in audiology.
“I’m really proud of Jasmine’s award and her dedication to service,” said head coach Bob Olesen. “Community service, education and personal growth are all integral parts of the collegiate student-athlete experience, and it’s fantastic that Conference USA recognizes this with this Spirit of Service Award and for Jasmine to be a winner.”
The daughter of a collegiate pole vaulter, Patterson walked on to the 49ers team during her sophomore year. She had top-10 finishes at several indoor and outdoor meets in her career.
Patterson also maintained a near-perfect 3.973 GPA. She made the Dean’s List every semester and twice received the Perfect Niner Award for earning a 4.0 GPA while on the track and field team.
Patterson has volunteered at the Levine’s Children’s Hospital, served as a mentor at the Ronald McDonald House and organized a book drive at the International House of Metrolina. Community service is encouraged for Levine Scholars, but most of Patterson’s activity has been self-inspired.
She also took a trip to Cuzco, Peru, in 2012 to help at a school for children and adults with special needs, and organized a dance marathon at UNC Charlotte to raise money for the Levine Children’s Hospital.
Levine Scholars are required to complete a summer experience abroad, and the 2012 trip to Peru fit Patterson’s interests.
Patterson, who is interested in the Spanish language and speech pathology, helped nonverbal children and adults express their desires through communication books she provided.
Patterson and other Levine Scholars recruited fraternities, sororities, athletic teams and student clubs, whose members danced, exercised and played games for 12 straight hours during Charlotte’s Dance Marathon. The event raised more than $35,000.
“I know it’s really difficult for student-athletes to find the time to volunteer,” said Patterson. “I can attest to that. I have a very busy schedule. It’s just so important for you and your team that you give some of your time.”
Track and field
The 49ers are scheduled to finish the Conference USA championships May 18 in Houston.
For those who qualify, the NCAA East Preliminary will be May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla.