LOS ANGELES -- Senior defender Mandy Freeman was named one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, it was recently announced.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Each of the two candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one male candidate and one female candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
Here's a look into Freeman's life as a standout in community, classroom, character and competition.
Classroom A psychology major with a minor in occupational science, Mandy Freeman is on track to graduate a semester early. She completed a marketing internship this summer with the Network of One. During her internship, she worked as a consultant with buyers to coordinate marketing strategies, develop and manage a leads tracker in Microsoft Excel and did outreach to YouTubers for potential advertising and promotional space. She has also worked in the USC Call Center, maintaining and strengthening connections between the university, alumni and donors, helping to raise funds for scholarships, grants, program initiatives and research.
Character A member of the team's leadership committee, Freeman is one of the captains on the team. A four-year starter, she leads by example on and off the field. She is a steady worker on the field and is an excellent student in the classroom. Freeman also is a member of the Trojan Athletic Senate, providing insight into the quality of life for student-athletes.
Community Freeman has been very involved with community outreach. In addition to the team activities, she has taken a special role with the non-profit organization Team Impact, acting as an on-campus ambassador. The goal of Team Impact is to improve the life of a child who is/has struggled with life-threatening illnesses by improving their quality of life through the power of sports teams. She represented the organization to USC's athletic director, coaches and student-athletes, trying to grow involvement of the program. Individually, Freeman and the USC team have adopted a 5-year-old girl named Sofia, who now struggles with the side-effects of three years of chemotherapy. Sofia had her "draft day" with Freeman and her teammates and is now an honorary member of the USC squad. In March 2014, Freeman was named USC's Trojan Community Service Athlete of the Month because of her dedication and activity in community service. She volunteered with outreach projects such as Girls Play, A Day in Troy and Girl Scouts of LA. She feels very passionate about articulating the importance of teamwork, community, physical health and community.
Competition A four-year starter for the Trojans, Freeman is a key piece of the Trojan squad. As a freshman she earned All-Pac-12 First Team honors, becoming the first Trojan to do so since 2009. Last season she was a part of the staunch Trojan defense that was tied for first in the Pac-12 in goals-against average and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for just the third time in program history. She earned All-Pac-12 Second Team honors and NSCAA All-Pacific Region Second Team honors. She has been a member of the U.S. Youth National Team circuit since U-14. Freeman has competed with the U-15 and competed in the U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan. Most recently she was called to be a part of the U-23 camp.
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2016 NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup® championships in December.
For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.