April 8, 2015
WAYNE, N.J. — Alex Grady, a sophomore on the Georgia Tech men’s cross country and track and field teams, has been voted the first-ever recipient of the Ultimate Haier Achievement Award, which is presented to deserving student-athletes for their accomplishments beyond sports.
The announcement was made by John Homlish, senior vice president, Digital Living Business Unit for Haier America, one of the world’s leading television and appliance manufacturers, and Doug Vance, Executive Director of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
”The Haier Achievement Award program brings to light those student-athletes who have achieved success beyond sports,” said Homlish. “Despite being just a sophomore, Alex has demonstrated a serious commitment to helping others. He is a great role model and we hope that by honoring him, we can further motivate other young people to achieve and succeed both on and off the field.”
Haier will officially recognize Grady on April 17, 2015 during the Georgia Tech Invitational Track meet at the George C. Griffin Track on the campus of Georgia Tech. They will present him with a trophy, donate $5,000 to the Georgia Tech general scholarship fund and award a Haier 48-inch LED HD television to the Georgia Tech athletic department. Previously, Grady and the other seven honorees were recognized with a plaque at an on-campus ceremony and earned their school a $2,000 donation to the general scholarship fund and a Haier 48-inch HD television to their athletic department.
A graduate of Newton High School in Covington, Ga., where he was the valedictorian of his graduating class, Grady is majoring in mechanical engineering. He was one of six Georgia Tech student-athletes to receive the ACC Top Six for Service Award in 2014. In less than two years he has amassed more than 210 community service hours.
One of the programs he volunteers at is the Peachtree Academy where he helps students write scholarship applications. In this role, he has assisted many high-achieving students in his community of Newton County with scholarship and college applications to give them the best chance of getting into their “dream school” and being able to afford it. He focused much of his attention on the Gates Millennium Scholarship which is a $500,000 scholarship that pays for any college of choice. This scholarship has given him the opportunity to follow his dreams and he is doing what he can to get others to experience the same. Along with helping students through the essay process, he has gone to several schools and breathes life into the thought of college and being able to afford it.
In addition to this work, he has also volunteered at many other programs including Georgia Tech SAAB’s Michael Isenhour Toy Drive and the “Thank-a-Thon,” organized by the Student-Athlete Advisory Board and Alexander-Tharpe Fund where student-athletes thank donors for their support.
A distance runner for the Yellow Jackets cross country and track and field teams, he competed in all six cross country meets in 2014. He placed third at the Florida Mountain Dew Invitational with a career-best 8K time of 25:07 and in the ACC Championships where he ran an impressive 25:21. He finished fifth at the NCAA South Regional with a career best 10K time of 32:31. On the track, he has competed in three meets this indoor season in three events — the mile, 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters — and two outdoor meets in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters.
“I am blessed and honored to be able to represent one of the best schools in the nation that pushes its students to strive for excellence in and out of the classroom as one who makes time for others,” Grady said. “Community service is very near and dear to my heart as it has molded me into the person I am today. At the end of it all, no one is going to care about the amount of money you make or material things you acquire, but the amount of people you touch and the lives you change. I just hope that I have the opportunity to help everyone I come in contact with and live up to the expectations I have set for myself.”
“Alex is a wonderful young man and very deserving of this honor. Being a mechanical engineer and a Division I student-athlete are huge commitments. That Alex devotes so much of his valuable free time to give back to others speaks to his great character, and is a tremendous example of servant leadership,” said Georgia Tech head cross country coach and track distance coach Alan Drosky.
From March 9th through April 3rd, fans voted for the Haier Ultimate Achievement Award online (http://achieve.haieramerica.com) from eight student-athletes that were recognized during the year. The top three finishers in the fan vote were: 1-Alex Grady (sophomore, track & field, Georgia Tech); 2-Averee Fields (senior, women’s basketball, West Virginia Univ); 3-Richie Suarez (senior, baseball, Rowan Univ). The other finalists included: Alysssa Brandt (senior, track & field/soccer, DeSales Univ); Elisha Hande (senior, tennis, North Carolina State Univ); Angela Lowak (junior, volleyball, Texas A&M Univ); Corey Petros (senior, men’s basketball Oakland Univ); and JaCorey Shepherd (senior, football, Univ of Kansas);
ABOUT HAIER: Haier America (www.haier.com/us/) is a subsidiary of Haier Group, the world’s No. 1 major appliance brand as ranked by Euromonitor International 2014, and a global leader in consumer electronics. Haier employs more than 70,000 people around the world and distributes products in more than 100 countries and regions with global revenues reaching $32.1 billion in 2014.
ABOUT CoSIDA: CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America, www.cosida.com) was founded in 1957 and is a 3,000-plus member national organization comprised of sports public relations, media relations and communications/information professionals throughout all levels of collegiate athletics in the U.S. and Canada. CoSIDA has two primary missions: 1) Assist communications and public relations professionals at all collegiate levels with professional development and continuing education, 2) Play a significant leadership and resource role within the overall collegiate athletics enterprise, thus helping other management groups and their respective memberships deal with the set of communications-based issues that is the most complex and challenging in history.