Nov. 6, 2013
ST. LOUIS - Senior Juan Carlos Avila has been honored with the Missouri Valley Conference’s Leadership & Service Award (formerly the Good Neighbor Award), the conference announced today. The award honors the achievements of exceptional student-athletes. Avila is one of 10 student-athletes who have been named by Commissioner Doug Elgin as the honorees for the 2013-14 fall season.
In order to be eligible for the award, the student-athlete must be in good academic standing, must demonstrate good citizenship through good sportsmanship and significant community service, and must participate in a sport, during the season of recognition. The Valley will recognize 10 student-athletes three times annually (fall, winter, spring), for a total of 30 honorees. Institutions select their MVC Leadership & Service Award honorees.
Avila, a senior linebacker, suffered a career-ending injury but has remained with the team as a student assistant. His community service and achievements include:
- Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Member (Current Vice-President)
- Dean's List
- MVFC Conference Honor Roll
- SIU Saluki Scholar
- MVFC Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award
- Creator/Organizer of Every Dawg Has Its Day (children experiencing the football game experience)
- Student Director of Valiant Player (Student-athlete weekly visits to a local hospital)
- Good Samaritan House Souper Bowl of Caring Events - collected donations for local food pantry
- Victory Dream Center (Salukis Kicking It for Hunger)
- MVC/State Farm "Just Read" participant
- Southern Illinois Heart Walk - created event to collect donations for American Heart Association
- SIU Athletics Santa's Shoeboxes - fill shoeboxes with gifts for children attending SIU HeadStart
- Natalie's Toy Drive - collected toys for children with cancer at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis
- Habitat for Humanity
- Give Kids a Smile
- Cairo Upward Bound
- Good Samaritan House Painting
This year’s other fall honorees include Nathan Davis, Bradley, Men's Cross Country; Conor Wells, Drake, Men's Cross Country, Kevin Schafer, Evansville, Men's Soccer; Kristen Zillmer, Illinois State, Women's Cross Country; Zakee Bashir, Indiana State, Football; Tricia Stonebraker, Loyola, Women's Soccer; Caleb Schaffitzel, Missouri State, Football; David Johnson, UNI, Football; and Justin Scott, Wichita State, Men's Cross Country.