Former Lady Panther Leah Akridge honored for community service at ETBU

Former Lady Panther Leah Akridge honored for community service at ETBU
Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 9:40 PM CDT
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MARSHALL, Texas (KTRE) - Former Lufkin softball standout Leah Akridge has been named the American Southwest Conference Female Community Service Athlete of the Year.

“I am getting recognized for something over my accolades for softball,” Akridge said. “Getting this award shows I am successful in my mission field because that is how I see community service. It is not something I have to do but something I want to do. Seeing myself recognized encourages me to continue on in that service.”

ETBU’S list of accomplishments:

  • A four-year letter winner for the Tigers while maintaining a 4.00 GPA. Akridge has served as a Thrive mentor for underclassmen and a volunteer intern at Immanuel Baptist Church in Marshall, where she assisted with the annual Trunk or Treat event, the annual Fall Retreat, cooked for the covenant groups each week, and helped make desserts for local families during the Christmas season. In addition, she taught Sunday school to the youth for the past three years in Marshall, as well as serving in the nursery and taught the college group at First Baptist Church Lufkin when home for the summer. Akridge has also volunteered her time coaching youth softball teams in the area and served at the local food pantry throughout her college career. She has been an active part of the ETBU Softball Pen Pal program while in Marshall, where she and her teammates sent letters each week to patients in children’s hospitals throughout Texas. She served as the Rotary Youth Leadership head counselor and volunteered at Trinity Episcopal School (Marshall), as well as at the elementary schools in MISD. Akridge has been on the leadership council for ETBU Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and assisted with campground clean-up with FCA in Louisiana, made care packages for Hurricane refugees, participated in Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes, visited and sang Christmas carols to residents of the Marshall nursing homes, served with East Texas Open Doors, made blankets for children in Dallas hospitals, packed boxes for patients in Houston children’s hospitals, worked the American Appreciation Concert, and volunteered with the Salvation Army for the annual bell ringing drive at Christmas. She has been a Tiger Camp leader at ETBU and volunteered at the ETBU Softball camps. In addition, she assisted with the annual 9/11 run in Marshall and tutors ETBU students for English 1301 and 1302. Akridge plans to participate in an upcoming mission trip to Ecuador this year, too.

“Leah is the model ETBU student-athlete, who has exceled in all her endeavors during her time as a Tiger,” said Vice President for Student Engagement and Athletics Ryan Erwin in a press release. “She is a servant-leader that is always looking for ways to serve and love others within the ETBU family, as well as in the Marshall community. We are proud of all she has done during her time on the Tiger softball team and at ETBU and very deserving of this recognition from the ASC.”

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