By: Hunter Miller '19
BEREA, Ohio - Career-low round of 72. Two-time medalist.
To the public eye, that's all they would see of Baldwin Wallace University golfer Jimmy Clark - scores, top finishes, press releases and maybe the occasional photo or two.
Clark does something that seems to have been forgotten in today's youth, however, and doing so allows him to stand out from the rest. He lends his time that is not spent playing golf and puts it toward helping others, specifically the elderly and elementary kids with special needs.
He was first introduced to a high school program called Social Involvement Through Education and Service (SITES), which allowed him to leave school twice a week for 3-4 hours at a time for his entire senior year.
For the first semester, he volunteered at North Olmsted Senior Center where he was in charge of running a computer technology class. He helped the seniors with everyday tasks to make their lives as easy as possible.
"Some of the challenges I faced helping the seniors was showing them how to create emails, Facebooks, Pinterest's and many more websites," Clark said. "With the class, the large age gap I had to work with was always a daily struggle. I had to imagine I was in their shoes to really help them with their problems."
Clark quickly learned that he would need to develop patience when working with senior citizens. In turn, he learned to appreciate the time he spent with the seniors. They were full of life lessons and stories and he never expected to gain such knowledge while being the teacher of a class.
His next semester took him to an elementary school where Clark worked with one particular kid. This child loved sports, so from the beginning, their relationship sparked very quickly.
"He loved playing all sports, especially basketball," Clark mentioned. "After playing his favorite sports, he would always leave with a smile on his face and he might not have known it, but it made my day too."
Working with this kid allowed Clark to have a different perspective on life. These children constantly had smiles on their faces and having disabilities didn't affect their attitudes.
"The smiles," Clark said. "Seeing this every time I worked with them made me realize how fortunate I am in life and to appreciate everything I have."
Clark now smiles as much as he can and looks to life in a more positive manner. His many service hours both at the senior center and the elementary school has shaped his character into the man he is today. Going into college, Clark has used the memories and life lessons he has learned along the way and now applies it in his everyday collegiate life.
The skills he learned in high school are being used now to help out his fellow teammates. Seen as a big brother to the underclassmen, Clark leads by example - working with everyone who needs help while using the patience he developed from the time spent with senior citizens.
Striving to become the best he can be, Clark is always looking for his next helping moment and is willing to share his knowledge and experiences with anyone that will listen. With one year left at BW, Clark will beat all expectations not just on the golf course but also in everyday life, where he excels the most.