When Sarah Cullip ’17, graduated last spring, her diploma was not her only major accomplishment. Recruited to run cross country and track as a freshman, she spent four years on each team, and walked onto the women’s basketball team her junior year. Her athletic achievement is substantial, and she truly lives by a motto of hard work and dedication in every aspect of life. Sarah is not only an athlete, but also a former member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy Fellow, and a Fulbright Scholar.
“My coach always stressed that we are students before athletes,” Sarah says. “As much as he values us as athletes, he really values us as people.”
Sarah utilized every opportunity to maintain the “student first,” mantra while studying secondary education at Grand Valley, including using the Laker Academic Success Center, a donor funded program which offers tutoring at hours convenient for student athletes. She also took advantage of Grand Valley’s service learning opportunities, and taught English to a resettled Somali refugee family in the Grand Rapids area.
“We are so lucky to have the resources that we have at Grand Valley,” she says “I really do think that I’ve found my passion, and that is teaching refugees.”
Another resource that Sarah turned to is the Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships, where they helped her apply for her Fulbright scholarship. This ultimately led her to Nuremberg, Germany, where she will teach their refugee population for a year.
“I want my Laker Effect to be teaching refugees in some capacity down the line,” she says. “I’ve done it in Grand Rapids, and now I’m excited to do it abroad.”