Chris Parent (@chrisparent)

Volleyball's Stokes Receives Nia Student-Athlete Award

Brandon Berrio
Brandon Berrio
Assistant Communications Director

BATON ROUGE – LSU volleyball sophomore Milan Stokes was chosen as the recipient of the Nia Student-Athlete Award as part of the 2017-18 Black History Month festivities by the LSU African American Cultural Center.

Translated from Swahili to mean “purpose,” the Nia Award is bestowed upon an individual who is dedicated to the development of others, works collectively to build community, and upholds the sacredness of tradition. One who embodies the principle of Nia encourages others to get in touch with their inner being and pushes them to their fullest life potential.

“The Nia Student-Athlete Award is such an honor to me because it lets me know I’m on the right path to making the most change in my community,” Stokes said. “It means that I’m representing my family and the school well, and it means I’m reaching greater heights by pushing myself to get involved and give back. I believe it also motivates the student-athletes of the future that attend LSU to give passion and put effort into everything they do.”

Participants must have a GPA of at least 3.0, participate in community service that improves the Baton Rouge community for African Americans and be in good standing with the community. Brenton Sumler, LSU’s manager of the Shaquille O’Neal Life Skills Program, nominated Stokes for the award.

“Personal achievement through education is at the core of what drives Milan,” Sumler said. “It’s evident in the community service that she participates in and the young people that she impacts. She understands the importance of educating one’s self to advance in the world and how encouraging others to do so impacts the local community. Those things compelled me to nominate her for this award.”

Stokes was honored by the LSU Black Month Committee at the annual African American Cultural Center Jazz Brunch in late February.

"The Nia Award is an honor that represents “purpose” and her nominator did an amazing job at capturing Milan’s commitment to service, while being a high achieving student-athlete," said Evante C. Topp, Assistant Director of African American Student Affairs . "It takes a special student to excel as a student, athlete and actively serve the community to make it a better place!"

The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes is a 54,000 square foot facility comprised of academic affairs, student affairs and an information technology teams, serving more than 530 student-athletes. The purpose is to provide an all-inclusive, student-centered support structure for all student-athletes from matriculation, through graduation and life beyond.

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