Q&A with Assistant Cheer Coach Kelsey Seawright
by Chloe Bachman
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
"The most rewarding part of my job is seeing first-hand the process of college cheer athletes achieve their goals. As a coach, there are many rewarding opportunities that are pleasing to experience each and every practice. With coaching comes extensive benefits in which athletes are ambitious to acquire more skills as they prepare ready to compete. Working with individuals who are striving to be the best they can be both in and outside of the sport is incredible to be a part of. "
Describe how your job has changed in the midst of a pandemic?
"Starting a new coaching position in the middle of a global pandemic was a unique experience. I was looking forward to coaching my first season of sideline cheer, however, it was eliminated due to the pandemic. Not being able to cheer on our fellow warrior athletes as they played their game of basketball was difficult to assimilate. Despite the difficult challenges that the pandemic has brought, I am grateful for the ability to continue to practice for our upcoming competitive season."
Who has influenced you the most in your life? How and why?
"The most influential person in my life is my older sister. Her sedulous efforts in achieving her goals greatly inspire me to never stop working hard for the things that I wish to accomplish. Because of her, I have learned what it looks like to overcome adversity and be resilient. Not only am I appreciative of her mentorship, but her endless encouragement. Most of all, my sister has taught me what it means to be loving, compassionate, and empathetic to those around me."
What values motivate you the most?
"There are a number of values in my life that I aim to acquire so that I may become the best version of myself. Some of the values in which I feel most rooted are love, patience, kindness, and peace. Love has the ability to build trusting relationships and fight against the negatives such as hate and hostility. I value patience because it allows for compassion to take place in a way that promotes one to slow down and develop a deeper understanding of a person or situation. Additionally, kindness is a value that I strongly uphold for the reason that it encompasses positive characteristics such as generosity and warmth. Lastly, I value peace as it has the power to bring people together and provide stability."
What do you do for fun or to relieve stress?
"Life can bring on many areas of stress in one's life. As a result, I make it a priority to practice self-care. Something that I do to relieve stress is spending time with loved ones. Taking advantage of the little moments with people I enjoy the company of is something that brings me the most joy. I find myself least stressed when I am with those who not only have my best interest in mind, but bring me the most happiness."
What has been the biggest challenge in your life?
"One of the biggest challenges in my life was experiencing racism throughout my childhood. I grew up in a predominantly white school and city where I was one of the few African American students. Not only did I struggle academically from teachers who did not have my best interest in mind, but I also faced many challenges in my social life. Students who did not like the color of my skin had a major effect on my confidence and self-worth. I was able to overcome these challenges with school leaders and mentors by my side. They taught me how to advocate not only for myself but for other students in similar situations. I now look back and appreciate such challenges because it taught me how to successfully navigate through a toxic environment, among evil behaviors and hateful words."
What is your favorite family vacation?
"I am a person who is extremely family-oriented. Taking vacations with my family is something that I always look forward to. My favorite family vacation is visiting Virginia beach. My family and I enjoy our summer vacations in warm weather and love eating at the most popular restaurants in Virginia. Virginia is the perfect family getaway for my family and I as we enjoy the scenery and beautiful experiences of sightseeing."
What is a random fun fact about you?
"A recent fun fact about me that I find cool to share is that I was on a BillBoard for Rochester University in my senior year of undergrad."
What is something you want to learn or wish you were better at?
"Something that I want to learn is how to do photography. I love taking pictures and capturing the beauty of the moments in time and exploring the beauty of God’s creation such as nature and breathtaking scenery."
What single piece of advice would you give students today?
"One piece of advice with which I would like to give to current students is to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that Rochester University has to offer. I encourage students to get involved in as much as possible to make the best of their college experience. Rochester University also has incredible professors on staff. It is important to form professional relationships and use them as resources for your future career."