Posted by: allisonbarnes | April 12, 2011

Newton Invited to Share Student Spotlight About Courage

Senior Women's Lacrosse player was named March's Spotlight Student of the Month.

Courage is a common trait that many strive for but can mean different things from one person to the next. Everyone has fears: heights, public speaking, failure… but the mind-set and spirit one has to overcome those fears is what courage is all about. Many UNC student-athletes have to overcome fears throughout their college career and senior Women’s Lacrosse player Meredith Newton is no different. On March 3, Newton was selected as Carrboro Elementary School’s Spotlight Student of the month for the courage she faced after recovering from an injury her sophomore year.

Carrboro Elementary School holds monthly “Spotlight Breakfasts” for students who exemplify the theme of the month. March’s theme was courage.  Students were selected by their teachers and peers, and then were invited to enjoy a breakfast with their parents and the guest speaker of the month.

“I had a blast speaking with the kids,” said Newton. “Each kid deserved being recognized and I was honored that I was able to speak to them on a topic that they obviously have demonstrated as one of the their strengths.”

Students were recognized for exemplifying courage by receiving a Spotlight Student certificate and a note from their teachers about why each student was being recognized. Newton then  spoke to students about what courage meant to her, and how she has had to display courage when overcoming obstacles as an student-athlete at UNC.

Newton takes a picture with a group of students, one of who is UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour's grandson, who was being recognized for displaying courage in the classroom.

“I told the kids about an injury I suffered going into my sophomore year,” said Newton. “I told them the challenges I faced in recovering from the injury, with fitness and working my way back into playing.”

And Newton excelled. Newton was dedicated to her rehab and was back to normal as she made the starting line-up for the national championship game. Newton also gave students valuable tips on how they could show courage in the classroom and their daily lives.

  1. Work hard in whatever you are interested in, whether that’s academics or sports,  to grow confidence
  2. Look at the bigger picture even in times when its hard to exhibit courage
  3. Stay positive
  4. Don’t be afraid to face challenges. You wont exhibit courage if you never face challenges

Newton was impressed that Carrboro Elementary school had a program like the Student Spotlight that honors students on a monthly basis. She was also impressed that the students were so eager to talk with her even though she did not participate in a more dominant sport like Football or Basketball.

“The kids were so excited to hear me talk even though I am just a Women’s Lacrosse player,” said Newton. “But that just goes to show you the platform we have as student-athletes and the positive impact we can make on kids lives.”

April’s Student Spotlight theme is Self-Discipline. Teachers and peers are looking for students who are hard workers in the classroom and students who always give a 100 percent effort, another character trait that UNC student-athletes can relate with.



  1. Meredith-great job! Its great to see Women’s Lacrosse out in the community- keep it up. Finish strong this season! Go Heels!

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