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Jackets Honored as Peach of an Athlete Role Models

ATLANTA, Ga. – On Tuesday night at the College Football Hall of Fame, Georgia Tech seniors Mikaila Dowd (volleyball) and Lotta-Maj Lahtinen (women’s basketball), and sophomore Ben King (baseball) were recognized at the 38th Annual Peach of an Athlete Role Model Banquet. Dowd and King were amongst 10 amateur collegiate student-athletes named honorees, while Lahtinen received the Top Female Athlete Award, the highest honor given by the Atlanta Area Council and Boy Scouts of America.

Each year, the Atlanta Area Council and Boy Scouts of America honor student-athletes from the state of Georgia or a college or university in Georgia, who have distinguished themselves by their character, scholastic achievement, academic excellence and community service – characteristics taught every day in the Scouting program. Each year, 10 collegiate student-athletes are recognized as nominees for the award with two receiving the highest honor of Top Female Athlete and Top Male Athlete.

Lahtinen has been a leader both on and off the basketball court during her time as a Yellow Jacket. The Helsinki, Finland native has served the local community participating in events with Solidarity Sandy Springs, Habitat for Humanity and local elementary schools through the Buzzer Readers Program. On campus, Lahtinen has been involved with SMILE Georgia Tech, an organization designed to spread positivity and connectedness around the institute. She has also been a member of the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) for three years. Lahtinen’ s service extends beyond metro Atlanta as she took part in the Jackets Without Borders service trip in 2019 to Puerto Rico. With fellow student-athletes, Lahtinen and the Jackets helped rebuild a home for a local family that was devastated during Hurricane Maria. She has also devoted time to her local club team in Finland.

On the court, Lahtinen has earned all-ACC accolades the last two seasons while helping the Yellow Jackets to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths. Following her junior season in 2020-21, Lahtinen was named a WBCA All-American honorable mention and the ACC Most Improved Player. A business administration major, she has been named to the all-ACC academic team and the ACC academic honor roll three times. She also garnered 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-American All-District Team recognition.

A recipient of the ACC Top Six for Service Award, Dowd was also the winner of the inaugural GT Unite Award this year given to a student-athlete that has made an impact in the DEI space, whether in the department, campus or ACC community. She has been a member of SAAB for over two years and served as a SAAB Committee Chair. On campus, Dowd has assisted with “Coffee With a Cop” events, campus forums, and the “All Vote, No Play” initiative. Dowd has also volunteered her time with the Girls and Boys Club and Fire Volleyball organization. She is a two-time all-ACC second team honoree and was named to the all-ACC freshman team in 2018. A biomedical engineering major, Dowd has excelled in the classroom being twice named to the all-ACC academic team and is a three-time ACC academic honor roll recipient.

A sophomore on the baseball team, King has turned obstacles into opportunities during his time on The Flats. Battling injuries the past two seasons, King has devoted time to community service initiatives and aimed to gain as much knowledge and experience in the medical field as possible. During the Covid-19 pandemic, King saw an opportunity to hone his skills and served as a volunteer caller on the Covid-19 SOSHotline. He has also gained valuable experience working on a pair of research projects surrounding athletes and Covid-19. King has also served as an intern at the Good Samaritan Health Center. A member of SAAB, he has been the chairman for the community service committee. This past year, King led the Dream on 3 initiative to provide a Georgia Tech fan with down syndrome the ultimate Georgia Tech experience.

For more information on the Peach of an Athlete Role Model Banquet, please click here.

About Peach of an Athlete Award
For over 30 years, the Peach of an Athlete Awards Banquet honors athletes and community leaders that hold the same values as Scouting and benefits the programs of Atlanta Area Council and Boy Scouts of America. The Scouting organization takes great pride in recognizing those who serve as good “Role Models for Youth.”

Alexander-Tharpe Fund
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit   


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