Mandy Freeman Finds a Second Home|
April 7, 2015
Nearly 2,300 miles separate sophomore soccer player Mandy Freeman from her hometown of West Palm Beach, Florida. From new friends to dry weather, the defender-turned-midfielder has experienced a plethora of changes since she first stepped foot on McAlister Field.
One attribute not lost in the move, however, is her commitment to giving back. The former U.S. Under-20 National Team member has participated in five Trojan Outreach events this semester alone. Since arriving at USC, she has dedicated 34 hours to community service.
For her extensive work in the local community, Mandy has been named the March Trojan Outreach Athlete of the Month.
"Community service has always been stressed as an important aspect in my life," Mandy said. "I just love working with kids."
Throughout her childhood, Mandy was exposed to countless community service opportunities in her hometown of West Palm Beach, especially around the holidays.
"Growing up, my mom always encouraged me and my sisters to give back to the community, making sure that we were doing for others what we'd like done for us," Mandy said. "I would always see how she was helping teenage girls and boys mature, so that was always something I was comfortable with - giving back to others."
Now as a psychology major and occupational therapy minor at USC, Mandy has built on her passion for the community and identified a career path.
"I've learned a lot about myself and what I like to do," Mandy said. "One focus of my studies incorporates understanding my own personal brand. A large part of my personal brand is community service."
Another major part of her personal brand includes representing the Trojan women's soccer team. Just a month ago, Mandy led a group of young girls on a tour of campus as part of Day in Troy, pointing out her favorite study spots along the way.
"I think it's important for USC student-athletes to be an open resource for young kids," Mandy said. "I believe it only helps us improve as people, learning to work well with others and learning how to communicate more effectively."
By the time the regular season rolls around next fall, Mandy will be a junior taking on new leadership roles on and off the pitch.
"I'm just fortunate to be able to work with kids in this area and be somewhat of a bigger sister that they can talk to and feel comfortable around."