Student-athletes find success & opportunity - Advance cover story

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Life as a college student is a lot of hard work – especially if you’re a student-athlete. For most Clippers, it’s a full course load while balancing practices, games and scrimmages, and – for many – employment on top of that. But SPSCC students are constantly rising to the challenge, finding success and living a life that speaks to their high aspirations for the future.

Some, like Ben Janssan, are keeping their options open. He’s a year away from finishing his Associate of Arts and is figuring out where he’ll go after, but intends to make the most out of his time at SPSCC. Having helped the men’s basketball team take their third consecutive West Regional Championship, Janssan spends his time training, working in the college’s Clipper Café, and studying hard to maintain his 4.0 GPA.

NWAC women’s basketball MVP Trinity Betoney is also exploring her next steps: after finishing her AA in the summer, she plans to transfer to a 4-year college to continue her studies and basketball career. She’s keeping up her GPA for a strong finish while considering the offers and scholarships she’s received to play basketball at 4-year schools.

Others, like men’s soccer goalie Juan Apaez, work hard to change the path for their family. Soccer runs in Apaez’s family – he’s been playing since he was 5 years old. He balances a part-time job in the oyster industry with his work as a student athlete, and when he graduates in 2020, he’ll be the first in his family to earn a degree. He hopes his hard work will inspire his siblings to follow his footsteps.

On a journey of self-discovery, Abigail Green, captain of the women’s volleyball team, rediscovered her passion at SPSCC. She originally studied computer science, but the success and support she found at SPSCC inspired her to dedicate herself to one of her dream careers: becoming an OBGYN. Green works at the Olympia Campus’ Start Here Desk and has a passion for advocating for others; you’ll find her on May 28 in the SUB (Bldg. 27) speaking about depression and the societal stigma against mental illness.