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
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.
is being honored by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association
today at Northeastern University
role as an advocate for treatment of athletic concussions.
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.
did not find out about the award until late last week.
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
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.
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
"People can play her position, but we definitely didn't replace Michelle
on the team," Noversa
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.
has been accepted to Bristol Community College's
human services degree program and will enroll in the fall.