Jennifer Strawley graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.
On Monday, she made a some personal history for herself.
Strawley, 42, was named the winner of the Lifetime of Giving Award in the Grand Slam Ballroom at Don Shula’s Hotel and Resort in Miami Lakes. She won the honor during the 35th Delta Psi Kappa Women’s Athletes: Reach for the Stars Awards Banquet.
The yearly ceremony is held to honor the best high school female scholar-athletes in Miami-Dade.
Six years ago, Strawley took a job in the University of Miami athletic department and quickly moved up in position to her present duties of deputy athletic director and chief operating officer.
Fancy titles, but that isn’t what Strawley cares most about. Her focal point always has been and always will be on young student-athletes trying to find their way in athletics and, more importantly, in academics.
“Sports had given me the opportunity to shape young people,” Strawley said. “Sports can prepare people for life. Sports is transferable into the real world. I look into the eyes of young people playing sports, and it’s a wonderful thing. It gets me up in the morning.
“In sports you have to respond to adversity and failure, and that’s part of life lessons.
“I am a reflection of my sports experience. Sports helped make me who I am. You grow from sports.”
In high school, Strawley played soccer, softball and basketball. In college, she continued with softball.
“Not many college basketball coaches want a 5-4 player,” she said with a laugh.
Addressing the room full of high school athletes, Strawley told them, “Success in sports isn’t always the best moments you have. The most important thing is the impact that sports has on you. You will find out that sports will help you become strong, confident women.”
Barbara Goleman:Dayanis Olivia; Booker T. Washington:Taneacha Brown; Coral Gables: Alyssa Lamadriz; Coral Reef:Kylie Lopez; Cutler Bay:Estheralice Lopez; Krop: Nicole Lew; Varela: Aaliyah Louis; Braddock:Carydad Bolivar; Hialeah Gardens: Melanie Quintero; Hialeah: Katherine Correa; Homestead:Ibeth Moreno; Ferguson: Ashley Acevedo; MAST: Angelica Torres; Carol City:SadeaPringle; Coral Park: Sharon Gonzalez; Palmetto:Jailah Williams; Southridge:Nya Bush; Miami Springs: Angela Moon; Sunset: Nadia Emad; South Miami: Susana Gonzalez; Terra: Chelsea Ferreira; Westland:Daliana Delgado.
Alleine Swain Scholarship winner: Natasha Cruz, University of Miami.