Maya Dias- NAIA Student-Athletes Return on Athletics™
1. Tell us a bit about your background and experience as a student-athlete and why you chose to attend Eastern Oregon University.
I am from Middleton, Idaho, about two hours south of EOU. I’m married to Victor Dias who is a running back here at Eastern. I’ve always wanted to play basketball in college and thought my chances were slim after tearing my ACL twice while high school. Coach Weissenfluh and a couple other schools were willing to help me accomplish this dream and after meeting the coaches, alumni, booster members, and teammates at Eastern I knew it was the place I was looking for!
- You were recently recognized as the 2017 Leroy Walker Champion of Character® Award Recipient. Congratulations on that honor. Can you share with us your thoughts on why the NAIA Champions of Character program is so important to you (connect at least one of the 5 core values of the Champions of Character program – integrity, responsibility, sportsmanship, stewardship and servant leadership).
The core values that make up the Champions of Character program are all values I’ve strived to emulate. From a young age, I have been surrounded by people that already possess these characteristics. By having these positive influences in my life I have always had these characteristics (and more) to strive for. When I think of servant leadership, I instantly think of my parents. They have devoted their careers to serving and helping others become the best they can be. I would not be who I am today without the examples that they have been for me.
- Share with us some ideas about servant leadership that you have done while a student-athlete at EOU.
By being a part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at Eastern I have had plenty of opportunities to display servant leadership. One of my favorite things we have created while on this committee is our Adults with Disabilities program. Every Wednesday throughout the school year we have athletes from each sport get together and spend an hour playing sports with adults who have mental and physical disabilities. Since Eastern Oregon lacks programs for individuals with disabilities it has been a pleasure to see how happy just an hour of our time makes them. It has been one of the most rewarding and humbling things I have been a part of while attending school.
- Describe for us who or what has had the greatest impact on you as an intercollegiate student-athletes and why.
If I had to pick one person that has had the greatest impact on me as an intercollegiate student-athlete, I would choose my coach. She has always had so much confidence and faith in me despite the physical setbacks that I have gone through. She is one of the most passionate and determined people I have ever met and there are so many of her characteristics that I will take with me after I leave Eastern. I can not thank her enough for the opportunities she has provided for me.
- What do you hope to accomplish this year through your service to the 65,000 student-athletes of the NAIA?
This year while serving on the ASA I hope to learn more about the athletes that make up the NAIA and what they need. By getting to know them and their needs, I hope to make changes that will continue to influence the thousands of athletes to come. My main hope is that when this year is over, we would have made the NAIA athlete experience even better than it has been in the past.
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