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Statistician for Volleyball Team Last Fall
Advocate for Treatment of Athletic Concussions
Diman News - Injured athlete not content to sit on sidelines
Diman senior Michelle Pelton has had part of that experience taken away from her.
Multiple concussions dating back to the eighth grade interrupted her basketball season and completely wiped out her softball campaign, where she was to serve as team captain for the Bengals this spring. She is receiving home-tutoring and is unable to attend classes at Diman due to her condition, which often leaves her with severe headaches and mood swings. Diman senior Michelle Pelton watches a Diman softball game Monday afternoon. After suffering several concussions, Pelton has become an advocate for concussion awareness. Photo by Dave Souza. Diman senior Michelle Pelton watches a Diman softball game Monday afternoon. After suffering several concussions, Pelton has become an advocate for concussion awareness. Pelton is being honored by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association today at Northeastern University for her role as an advocate for treatment of athletic concussions. Pelton was selected from among 13 finalists statewide to receive the MIAA Community Service Award, which is presented to a person who has made a difference through leadership in service and respect for others. Pelton did not find out about the award until late last week. She is still frustrated that she is not able to man her usual position as catcher and No. 3 hitter for Diman, but does find some consolation in knowing that she has helped put concussion awareness on the map. "I want to help kids understand what a concussion means," Pelton said. "It's tough. I want to be able to play and I can't. But knowing that I can help someone else gives me some satisfaction." Pelton and her father, Diman School Committee member Edward Hill, have led the drive to bring concussion awareness programs to local schools. In addition to serving as an advocate for concussion awareness, Pelton can assist in the baseline testing of athletes which establishes an individual's level of memory, reaction time and processing speed prior to the start of a season. Michelle Pelton talks with her coach Cathie Noversa during a Diman softball game Monday. Dave Souza photo. Michelle Pelton talks with her coach Cathie Noversa during a Diman softball game Monday. "Not being able to play softball has been a struggle for Michelle," Hill said. Noversa knows all too well how tough it has been for Pelton not being able to participate in her final season of high school softball. Pelton also served as a statistician for Noversa's volleyball team last fall. In a testament to how highly she regards Pelton, Noversa has also used her as a baby sitter for her young children. "People can play her position, but we definitely didn't replace Michelle on the team," Noversa said. In addition to her athletic prowess, Pelton has been honored in the classroom. She became a certified nursing assistant during her junior year and also received a certification as a direct support professional during her sophomore year. For two years, Pelton worked on the summer youth collaborative at People Incorporated in Fall River where she learned the ins and outs of working with developmentally delayed adults. She has been accepted to Bristol Community College's human services degree program and will enroll in the fall.
Michelle Pelton receives her citation from State Senator Joan Menard
Michelle Pelton receives her citation from State Senator Joan Menard Above Diman student Michelle Pelton receives her citation from State Senator Joan Menard. Other Diman students recognized with Pelton at this state house event included Jessica Barbosa, Jessica Rajani, Danielle Souza, Savannah Pacheco and Kelly Carreiro.