Baltimore, Md. - North Carolina women's lacrosse player Zoe Skinner is one of five finalists for the 2013 Yeardley Reynolds Love ("YRL") Unsung Hero Award. Established in 2011, the YRL Unsung Hero Award celebrates the selfless acts of initiative and commitment performed by Division I lacrosse players.
These outstanding student-athletes are recognized based on the following criteria: dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness and sportsmanship. The award winners (one female, one male) will be announced in late-May, leading up to the culmination of the NCAA lacrosse season.
Skinner, a junior defender from Baltimore, Md., leads many community service projects and pushes her teammates behind-the-scenes. Last summer, she spent time in Vietnam with the Atlantic Coast Conference Student-Athletes Coach for College Teacher program, teaching English and coaching volleyball to fifth-grade children in Southern Vietnam, an experience she calls one of the most enriching of her lifetime.
Skinner is also the women's lacrosse liaison with Carolina Athletics Outreach, in which she coordinates the team's volunteer efforts with UNC Hospitals, Murdoch Development Center, New Hope Elementary School, Share Your Christmas Foundation and UNCLaxForKellie. She does the same on the field, tirelessly working behind the scenes to improve her teammates in practice.
Formerly given to lacrosse players in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the award became open to all Division I programs this year. The award recognizes accomplishments of student-athletes who help their team achieve success in ways that may not be measured in goals, saves or ground balls. The honor is meaningful because it places value on characteristics that are often undervalued in the competitively charged environment of college athletics.
"We would like to thank every lacrosse program that submitted a nomination," said Sharon Robinson, a member of the YRL Unsung Hero Award selection committee. "We were so impressed with the student-athletes that were nominated and wish we could reward them all. It is so reassuring to see how these future leaders are contributing to their communities in a positive manner. Our goal is to continue growing this award as well as its prestige in college athletics, so we can celebrate the good in college athletics and continue to honor Yeardley's legacy."
Five women and five men have been selected as finalists for the 2013 YRL Unsung Hero Award. These finalists will be represented on the award's website, www.JoinOneLove.org/UnsungHeros, and in the June issue of Inside Lacrosse magazine, the award's media partner.