COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State Department of Athletics has paired with Soles4Souls again this year, expanding the joint effort to make a pair of service trips in 2016. The first group of 11 Buckeye student-athletes and three full-time staff members embarks on a journey to Jamaica early Wednesday (May 11) morning to volunteer for the week. The travel party will also spend time immersing themselves in the Jamaican culture while being exposed to the impact giving a pair of shoes can have on a community.
In addition, a second group of 13 Buckeyes (10 student-athletes; three staff members) are headed to Bolivia in August (7-13), teaming with Soles4Souls for another adventure helping provide footwear to those in need. A total of 21 student-athletes representing 19 different OSU teams are set to make a difference abroad:
JAMAICA | MAY 11-17
Lindsay Agnew is a three-year letterwinner for the Ohio State women's soccer team. The Dublin, Ohio, native has appeared in 50 career matches, making 47 starts. Agnew has scored eight goals and added 11 assists while being named a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
"I love little kids so I am really excited to be able to meet them and also spread my love for soccer. I have always wanted to go on a service trip and haven't had the opportunity before this."
Keita Bates-Diop is a two-year letterwinner on the Ohio State men's basketball team. The Normal, Ill., native started 33 games as a sophomore this season and ranked second on the team with 11.8 points per game while tying for the team lead with 6.4 rebounds per contest en route to honorable mention All-Big Ten laurels.
"I am looking forward to understanding another culture and lifestyle in Jamaica."
Elizabeth Buerling, a junior Animal Sciences major, is a member of Ohio State's national championship-winning pistol team. A native of Uniontown, Ohio, Buerling has ended each of her three seasons as a national champion.
"I look forward to expanding the kingdom of love and to make a small difference in a big way to someone."
Michelle Burns is a three-year letterwinner on the Ohio State women's gymnastics team. Burns has posted career bests of 9.850 on vault, 9.825 on floor exercise and 9.800 on balance beam. A veteran who has competed in 20 career meets, Burns is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete, two-time Academic All-Big Ten pick and an NACGC/W Scholastic All-American.
"I want to be able to impact others -- to show kids that they have a future and that their smile will change someone's world."
Asia Doss, a Mechanical Engineering major, is a two-year starter on the women's basketball team. She is one of just three players to have played in every game over the last two years. Doss has career averages of 6.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game and has the best assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1) on the team over her first two seasons.
"I am excited to experience something new, see what Jamaica looks like, experience cultural differences, and am looking forward to making a difference in someone's life."
Christian Lampasso, a rising junior from Amherst, N.Y., has played in 53 games for the Scarlet and Gray, notching three goals, 14 assists and 17 points. He is a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten selection.
"My mother always helped out in Haiti (where she's from) and I never got to help her before she passed so I want to serve in any way I can."
Miles Johnson is a member of the 2016 National Champion men's volleyball team, earning Most Outstanding Player honors for the NCAA Tournament. The junior from Carlsbad, Calif., was also tabbed as a First Team All-American.
"I want to know that I helped make a small difference in someone's life. Exploring outside of your typical comfort zone allows for an eye-opening experience. It will also be interesting for me to apply the knowledge I've been gaining in school to a real life situation."
Tyler Kidwell, a rising senior on the Ohio State men's soccer team, was a co-captain for the 2015 Big Ten champion Buckeyes last fall. A native of Dublin, Ohio, Kidwell has started in 60 games in the OSU backfield the last three seasons, leading the team to a NCAA Sweet 16 appearance as a junior. Kidwell, a business major, is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.
"I haven't done much volunteer work in my life and this seems like a great opportunity; I'm looking forward to challenging myself."
Raekwon McMillan is a sophomore linebacker from Hinesville, Ga., and Liberty County High School. He earned First Team All-Big Ten ¬honors last season after leading the Buckeyes in tackles with 119. He was also a finalist for the Butkus Award as the nation's outstanding linebacker. He has played in 28 consecutive games for the Buckeyes and has started in each of the past 13 games.
"I have never traveled outside of the country before, but I'm glad I have this opportunity to do so and for a good cause. I look forward to sharing my experience with friends and family."
Billy Price will be in his fourth year with the Buckeye football team in 2016 and his third year as a starter along the offensive line. Price has played in and started all 27 of Ohio State's games the past two seasons, including all 15 during the national championship season of 2014. Price is from Austintown, Ohio and Fitch High School and he is majoring operations management.
"I am looking forward to representing the football team and to further develop myself as a person and gain a new found perspective of the world."
Kylie Randall has advanced to the NCAA `Sweet 16' each of the past two seasons as a member of the women's volleyball program. The Tomball, Texas native has played in over 50 matches the past three years and made 18 starts in her career.
"I am excited to be a part of a unique experience where I am able to change or influence other people's lives."
BOLIVIA | AUGUST 7-13
Andrea Ballinger, from Columbus, Ohio, was a freshman on the Buckeye women's tennis team that won Big Ten regular season and tournament titles and earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2016.
"I hope to gain perspective and I would like to make an impact on someone's life."
Kyle Dodson was a part of the 2012 Ohio State recruiting class and was a member of the team for three seasons before suffering a career-ending injury. He redshirted during the team's undefeated season of 2012 and then saw his first action as a Buckeye during the 2013 campaign. Majoring in sport industry, Dodson is from Cleveland, Ohio and Cleveland Heights High School.
"I want to help other people and do God's work."
Chelsea Harpool, a junior from Orlando, Fla., is a two-year member of the women's rowing team. In her first season with the Buckeyes in 2015, she rowed as part of Ohio State's Big Ten champion Third Varsity Four, which helped OSU to its third consecutive B1G team title. Harpool is a 2016 Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.
"I want to meet new people and experience a new culture while serving others."
Anna Kirk is a three-year starter in the infield for the Buckeyes who in 2015 set career highs with a .333 average, 10 home runs, 40 RBI and 39 runs scored. A native of nearby Groveport, Ohio, she is a two-time OSU Scholar Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten selection who is majoring in sport industry.
"I want to get out of this trip a sense of being and why I am so privileged to have the things I do. A new perspective on enjoying the little things."
Matt Mendez is a Business major from Mount Pleasant, S.C. He is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree with a career 23-7 singles record and has been an integral part of the Buckeyes success this season on the doubles courts. He is unbeaten in 20 doubles matches this spring and owns a 16-1 record heading into the NCAA Tournament. He has also not lost in six singles matches this spring.
"I expect to have a great experience traveling to a foreign country for a good cause."
Sade Olatoye, a freshman from Dublin, Ohio, is a throws specialist on the Ohio State track and field team. Already ranked No. 5 in the OSU record book in the indoor shot put, Olatoye finished sixth in the weight throw for the Buckeyes at the 2016 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Olatoye is a 2016 Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.
"I expect a great learning experience, to be able to help impoverished communities, and to restore some type of happiness to their present day living conditions."
Matthew Smidt, who hails from Smithtown, N.Y., is a goalie for the men's lacrosse Buckeyes. He saw his first collegiate action in 2016, playing in two games and allowing just one goal. He is a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.
"I want to be able to build relationships with different people and to be able to explore something new by going to a new country."
Bridget Vilbig is a four-year letterwinner with six starts in her Buckeye career. She is also is a finalist for the YRL Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of two college lacrosse student-athletes (one male, one female) who demonstrate dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness and sportsmanship.
"I want to get a better understanding of how people in Bolivia live."
Jalen Washington, a junior co-captain catcher on the Ohio State baseball team, is from Twinsburg, Ohio. Washington was named Most Improved Player last fall and was named a captain this season. A Johnny Bench Award Nominee, he has played in over 70 career games and made 50+ starts thus far,
"I look to gain some perspective and meet and get to know new people."
Josh Wick, a redshirt sophomore from Upper Arlington, Ohio, played in eight of 11 events for the men's golf program this season, including seven tournaments as a member of the Buckeye lineup. He notched a top-5 individual finish at the 2016 Robert Kepler Intercollegiate.
"I want to help people and experience something new."
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