“Authentic” was the word used to describe young Ashton McKeown, a 21-year-old making a difference in her community, not only through her skilled defense as a goalkeeper for the Long Beach State women’s soccer team, but also as a volunteer, on and off the field.
McKeown works with underprivileged children in Long Beach and serves at local elementary schools running fit-a-thons with her team to promote fitness, health and wellbeing to Long Beach youth. The top-three ranked goalkeeper in Long Beach State history also coaches aspiring athletes, teaching and encouraging them to follow their dreams.
“[...]This award definitely reaffirmed that my hard work that I do is for a purpose,” said McKeown. “I am part of something that is bigger than myself and if I continue to work my very hardest, I will make a difference in my community.”
This is McKeown’s senior year at Long Beach State and she is hoping to finish the season strong, she said. The team is aiming to win the Big West conference tournament and continue in the NCAA tournament.
Her other goals include landing a marketing internship with a surf company, and continue her work with the Long Beach State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where she plans events, community service projects and skills training for student athletes.
“I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for the hard work of my parents in my life growing up,” said McKeown. “They've given me everything they could to help me be successful and I want to thank them for that. Also, I recognize that if I was doing everything I do, for the sake of my own selfish pride, I wouldn't be successful. Rather, I do everything that I do to the best of my ability, in hopes that my life would give glory to God, who is Lord of my life. I owe everything to him, for saving me and holding me in his hands daily.”