On the court
The summer before starting seventh grade, Powers picked up volleyball simply because all her friends were doing it. Six seasons later, the sport has turned into something much more for her. Later this month, she’ll sign with San Jose State on a full athletic scholarship.
Powers is a team captain for Ironwood. Coach Kathy Wilson describes her as a “phenomenal athlete.”
“Her versatility is probably her greatest asset,” Wilson said. “For us she’s just an aggressive player, she fast, she sees the court very well, and she’s one of those players that goes after it 100 percent of the time.”
As much as she brings athletically, though, Powers is just as much an asset as a team leader through her actions on and off the court.
“I just have to be a role model others can look up to,” Powers said. “I want to be a leader to everyone on the court.”
Added Wilson: “She’s also very humble. She will always give credit to her teammates.”
In the classroom
“It’s important to me because I know I can get all A’s,” Powers said. “I know if I get a B I could have tried harder. It’s just a commitment I have.”
Wilson said Powers can regularly be seen studying before volleyball matches and does not let sports get in the way of academics.
“She always puts academics first,” Wilson said. “We talk about that quite a bit on our team.”
At San Jose State, Powers plans to study physical therapy but may decide to take a medical school track in hopes of becoming a pediatrician.
In the community
On top of her academic and athletic commitments, Powers has found time for countless community service projects. She has helped organize a senior citizens prom, tutored English Language Learning students at Ironwood, planted plants at the Foothills Aquatic Center in Glendale — and that’s just a sample.
Powers also devotes a good deal of time to causes such as a blanket drive, Alzheimer’s walk and Relay for Life. She’s also an active member of Student Council.
Ironwood librarian Chris Kuczka, who nominated Powers for Whataburger Student Athlete of the Month, heads up the International Baccalaureate program at the school and sees Powers getting involved with its service projects regularly despite not being part of the program.
On one recent occasion, Kuczka recalls, Powers approached Ironwood administrators to ask if students could pay admission to an upcoming volleyball match with food items for a food drive instead of the usual fee.
“She was doing that to help some of the kids in the I.B. program that were part of the food drive,” Kuczka said. “So she wasn’t even part of that but she was helping them get more food for the St. Mary’s food bank. You just kind of see an undercurrent of Megan throughout the whole school.”
As if all that weren’t enough, Powers has perspective too: “I just want to give back because I’m blessed to have a good life,” Powers said. “So I want to give back to others who don’t necessarily have the life I’m able to live.”
FSAZ: What is your proudest moment so far as an athlete?
Powers: I think just being able to see my improvement over the years and to finally get that college scholarship. I was really excited because I was close to accepting another offer, and then I got this one. It’s the school I wanted to go to, so it’s a perfect fit. And off the field — what’s your proudest accomplishment as a member of the community?
Powers: I really enjoy when we do Relay for Life each year. That’s where we stay at our school or local community college for 12 hours. We just do different fundraisers for the American Cancer Society. So I really enjoy that because we get to see a lot of survivors and we get to honor others that have died from cancer.
FSAZ: What has been the biggest influence in your life that’s led to your well-rounded focus on sports, academics and community involvement?
Powers: I’d have to say my family. They have always pushed me to do the best that I can. They know that I can get all A’s — so that’s the academic side. In volleyball, they never let me not give my best because they know I can always get better. And Coach Wilson too — she always pushes me to become better each game.
FSAZ to Ironwood librarian Chris Kuczka: What made you think of Megan for this honor?
Kuczka: Having had kids who played sports and were also students, I know how hard it is to keep all the wheels going and be successful. And here you have a kid with great grades, she’s doing all her community service and she’s a good athlete. So that’s really what brought her to mind for me.
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