Hearing of Fellowship of Christian Athlete (FCA)’s search for another intern at their Western, Md., location, Nadine Leishman, a junior sports management major at Waynesburg University, knew she had to interview for the summer 2013 position, but the thought of leading camp activities left her on edge.
“Most people don’t know this, but I am dyslexic,” said Leishman.
Despite her fears, after receiving word of her acceptance, the Frederick, Md., native headed back to Maryland to begin her journey with FCA, an organization focused on incorporating faith into athletics.
“I was so nervous at first to read in front of people and the campers I had to lead in my huddles, but my boss, Scott Myers, was able to help me through that struggle,” said Leishman.
According to Scott Myers, FCA area director, the fears Leishman faced this summer were all a part of God’s plan for her.
“When we have a weakness, it forces us to look outside of our own abilities for strength and answers,” said Myers. “What I encouraged her to do was to embrace her weakness and don’t try to hide it. Instead, share it with others and talk about how God is going to use this in her life.”
As a member of the Waynesburg University lacrosse team and a student previously involved with FCA athletics for the past four years, Leishman was given a chance to use her faith to make a difference in the lives of others as she worked at overcoming her battle with dyslexia.
“Nadine is an outstanding young woman with a strong faith and a passion for athletics,” said Dr. Gordon McClung, chair of the business administration department at Waynesburg University. “Her commitment to Christ and desire to help others provided an excellent foundation for her internship.”
Helping to foster her faith into what it is today, Leishman credits Waynesburg University and its mission for giving her the confidence necessary to minister to those around her during her internship.
“The mission statement at Waynesburg really helped me through this internship because I am living out my faith,” said Leishman. “But I am also seeing others grow in their faith. I was able to serve others’ needs at the camps and show campers that people care for them and want to be there to help them.”
Three days a week, Leishman served as a Student Athlete Leadership Training intern with a team of four other interns, giving her abundant opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the field.
During the day, Leishman updated rosters for camp, promoted the local Power Camp and other camps to athletes and youth, and contacted high school students and coaches about helping to serve with camp activities. Leishman also attended meetings and sat in on phone conferences with FCA staff, getting a firsthand look at the way the organization is run.
Leishman’s favorite part of her internship was being able to share her knowledge of lacrosse and her faith with the young girls who attended the FCA’s local Power Camp.
“It was the greatest experience I think I could have ever had,” said Leishman. “Getting to teach what I know about the sport of lacrosse to young girls that are willing to learn more about the sport and watching the girls grow in their faith was the best experience I could have ever had.”
Leishman did more than prove she can do anything she puts her mind to, she has proven to others that weaknesses don’t have to limit the ability to overcome fears and succeed.