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  • Natasha DeSousa

    Nominated by Simon Fraser University

     Throughout her years of study at Simon Fraser University, Natasha DeSousa of Burnaby, B.C., has been a dedicated and committed varsity track and field athlete. Possessing the vision and motivation necessary to succeed as an athlete, she is always positive and supportive of her teammates. While not the top runner on the team, she sets goals with enthusiasm and made significant contributions to the many championship titles won by the women's team. Her contributions were recognized with the Senior Scholar-Athlete Award for cross-country and track and field and the Bill DeVries award for the highest cumulative grade point average of any senior athlete.

     Among DeSousa's outstanding traits are strength, physical vigour, outstanding leadership qualities, and the ability to successfully face challenges in all areas of life. Her strong commitment to athletics is matched by her unwavering pursuit of academic excellence. She is extremely focused and never hesitates to provide assistance to other athletes and friends who may be struggling with the studies. So outstanding is DeSousa that she was selected as British Columbia's Rhodes Scholar for 2000.

     A volunteer with the Canadian Mental Health Association as a one-on-one partnership program member, she also works to educate the public about depressive illness and is a co-founder of Eco-Home Start, which helps families to start recycling. She is part of SFU's mentorship program and is a visitor to elderly patients at a local hospital.

     DeSousa also holds down a volunteer position as assistant to Brit Townsend, the head coach of the men's and women's track and field programs and a former Olympian and Canadian record holder. With more than 45 athletes on the roster, DeSousa's responsibilities are heavy and include assisting with travel arrangements, planning, computer work, and other various managerial and administrative duties.

     "Natasha displays patience, organization, and a great deal of positive energy. Her assistance has been invaluable to me," says Townsend. "She is a young woman who is certain to continue to make a significant contribution to the world around her. It is a true honour to share my knowledge and experience with someone who aspires to accomplish great things with her world."



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