Mills swimmer, Melissa Berkay has been named as one of four finalists in the collegiate division of Athletes for a Better World's 2017 Wooden Cup. Named for legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, the Wooden Cup is awarded to the most outstanding role models among athletes in professional, collegiate, and high school categories. The Wooden Cup is open to all college athletes, in all divisions, and in all sports, making it the highest award in college sports. Now in its 13th year, the award was founded by the non-profit, Athletes for a Better World (ABW), an organization committed to changing the culture of American sports.
Berkay is currently in her second year at Mills. In a short amount of time she has had an incredible impact as a student, an athlete, and a member of the Mills community. In her first semester on the swim team she set six school records, a Liberal Arts Championship record in the 200 butterfly, and became the first swimmer in Mills history to qualify for the NCAA Swimming Championships. She went on to earn an All-American Honorable Mention and was recognized by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) as a Scholar All-American. Berkay's dedication and commitment extend beyond the pool and beyond Mills College. She is very active on campus, never shying away from leadership opportunities and always willing to lend a hand. This past fall she worked to found a chapter of the National Society for Leadership and Success at Mills, she is a contributing writer for the Mills paper, The Campanil, and is an online contributor to Swimming World Magazine. Last summer she combined her passion for swimming with her desire to make the world more, raising money for and awareness about homelessness. She took on the challenge of swimming the Catalina Channel while raising money for God's Extended Hand Mission in San Diego, Rachel's Women's Center in San Diego, and Jazzie's Place in San Francisco.
Melissa is willing to tackle anything, big or small and she dreams big while inspiring others with her leadership and action. She is not only an excellent swimmer, she embodies what it means to be a scholar-athlete and is a force of good on the Mills campus. She will be recognized at an award ceremony in Atlanta on April 11. Congratulations, Melissa!
A full release and more information can be found on the ABW site.