The Swope, Rodante Vanguard Award Selection Committee is proud to announce that Freedom High School senior, Marc Berson has been selected as the “January Student Athlete of the Month.” The mission of The Swope, Rodante Vanguard Award is to celebrate outstanding high school student athletes and coaches throughout Hillsborough County. Members of the committee, Freedom High School administration, teachers and peers plan to gather to present Marc with the award as well as a $1,000 check to be donated to the school’s athletic department. The award presentation will take place during a senior assembly at 9:30am on Tuesday, February 4th at Freedom High School.
Captain and MVP of the swim team, Marc was nominated by Freedom High School’s college and career counselor, Jamie Dowd, who explains that preconceived notions of Marc’s capabilities have never held him back. Despite having undergone several surgeries on his foot at a young age, he has persevered and excelled as a swimmer. He currently holds the high school record for the 100 Fly, 200 Freestyle, 100 Back, 200 Free Relay, 200 Medley Relay, District Champion 100 Fly, 200 IM and 200 Free Relay. Additionally, Marc was also named to the Tampa Tribune’s All Hillsborough County Swim Team with an Honorable Mention and recognized as the Tampa Metro YMCA MVP for the National Team.
A firm believer in giving back to the community, Marc has led by example both locally and internationally. He is a coordinator and mentor for an early literacy initiative in Hillsborough County Public Schools and coordinator of a water safety initiative in Hillsborough County. Marc has also participated in a reforestation and tree planting project in Israel, the collection and dissemination of educational resources for learning centers in Ghana and Jamaica, a tutoring initiative for preschoolers in Jamaica and a global sustainability project in Costa Rica.
Academics are also a priority for this busy student athlete who has maintained an excellent GPA throughout high school. After graduation, Marc plans to attend Bowdoin College to major in international studies.
Each month of the school year, The Swope, Rodante Vanguard Award Selection Committee recognizes the “Student Athlete of the Month.” The winning student receives an award recognizing his/her achievements as well as a $1,000 check that is donated to their school’s athletic department in honor of their outstanding performance. Student Athletes of the Month are also eligible to be named the overall “Student Athlete MVP” at the end of the year and receive a check that is applied towards their college tuition.
The Swope, Rodante Vanguard Award also recognizes outstanding coaches. At the end of each school year, two coaches – one male and one female coach –are recognized for their remarkable contributions, both on and off the field. Each Coach of the Year is presented with $1,000 as a way of thanking them for their commitment to making a positive impact in the community.