If you work hard, you might work with inspiring individuals. But if you work hard enough, you will be an inspiring individual. For Tiffanne Ryan of Oklahoma City, Okla., her discipline and fervor for life have resulted in an internship with the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Paralympic division.
“Many people do not know this, but the Paralympics are exactly like the Olympics but with amazing athletes who deal with physical disabilities,” said Tiffanne. “Everyone involved in the Olympic and Paralympic games has something special inside of them.”
Tiffanne, majoring in sport management with a minor in business administration, said she was more than a little nervous when the chief of Paralympics delegated her first project. She had to assemble an auction package worth $4,600 to raise funds for the 12th Annual SkiTAM, the signature fundraiser for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.
“I was scared out of my mind because he can be very intimidating, but he loved my work and has been pouring it on ever since!”
She said some of her job responsibilities include coordinating training camps, assisting in sports programs, outreach and development, conferences and seminars logistics and military support programs.
“I’m involved with the behind-the-scenes activities for conferences, including all of the planning, such as reservations for furniture, electricity, carpet, booth shipping and set-up, conference registration, group travel plans, lodging and rental cars. I also collect ideas on how to spread the word to potential athletes across the country.”
In order to become an intern, Tiffanne said she committed a lot of time to research on the internet and in internship books.
“I love it here. I’ve made important contacts with people who are willing to support me in my career. Where else do you have the opportunity to live with, dine with and get to know world-class athletes? Help is all around me!”
Job responsibilities such as these require close attention to detail, a trait Tiffanne demonstrated in her career playing for the Redhawks women’s basketball team from 2002 to 2006.
“As a student athlete, I learned the value of time management, diligence and perseverance. Being so far away from my wonderful family has taken me to a new realm of independence.”
Tiffanne has made a habit of being diligent and persevering: during her junior year in high school, she was published in the 2000-01 edition of Who’s Who Among American High School Students. While attending Southeast, she was a four-time Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Scholar Athlete, an award presented to student athletes with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Recently, she was awarded the NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Postgraduate Scholarship for Careers in Athletics. She also was named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was a letterwinner for the team for four years. To be a letterwinner, an athlete must play a significant number of minutes on the court during games.
“My favorite memories are from playing for Southeast’s most successful women’s basketball team. We won the OVC Championship in 2006 and competed in the first round of the NCAA, which were first-time achievements.”
Tiffanne said she will graduate in May of 2007 and plans to attain a dual master’s degree in business administration and sports administration. She said she wants to pursue a ministry in sports.
“I love the Lord and all that He entails, and I love working with babies and children. Kids are God’s sweetest creations!”
Tiffanne said her biggest advice to students is not to let other people’s doubts interfere with your dreams.
“Find your passion and put your heart and your soul into it. Just be you! Don’t let
anyone cause you to doubt your abilities.”