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Dustin McNeely: Recipient of the 2016 Jack Cramer Scholarship

August 19, 2016

Dustin McNeely - 2016 Jack Cramer Scholarship Award Winner

Congratulations to Dustin McNeely of York, S.C., the 2016 recipient of the Jack Cramer Scholarship. The $2,000.00 scholarship was established in 2006 by Cramer Products to honor the memory of Jack Cramer, who believed in mentoring high school students interested in the profession of athletic training. Jack, son of company co-founder Frank Cramer, died in 2004 at age of 86. The scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school senior planning to become an athletic trainer and work in a high school setting.

Dustin graduated in May from York Comprehensive High School. He was a student athletic training aid all four years of high school, and is the school’s first student to have started in that role as a ninth grader. This month he’s heading for Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., where he will major in athletic training and minor in political science and Spanish.

In his scholarship application essay, Dustin explained how he first became interested in the profession of athletic training. He wrote, “ There I was, a young boy sitting on the sideline of my brother’s pee-wee football game, and suddenly one of the players on the field sustained a hit. The player was lying on the field, helpless, while coaches rushed to him. Time seemed to freeze as he had to be rushed to the emergency room. As the years have gone by, this memory has given me the desire to assist athletes in the medical field.”

In writing about his future career plans, Dustin said, “Athletic trainers have the tremendous responsibility of ensuring the safety and efficient care of athletes. I will be a vital part of the faculty and athletic programs at the secondary school where I am hired. I will bring many productive changes to the athletic training program. One innovative and essential change is to reduce the amount of paperwork by moving to electronic sign-ins. If funds are not available, fundraisers will be held to establish necessary funds and show that this technology is vital in caring for athletes. When an athlete comes into the athletic training room, they will scan their student ID cards as a check in process. They will then select their treatment from a list of modalities. This process will have a timing feature so I can log how long each athlete has been in the athletic training room and monitor any follow-up procedures that are needed.”

Dustin also wrote about the importance of being a mentor to student athletic training aids and athletes. “Being trustworthy, hardworking, and committed to the program, myself, and each other will be a requirement of my student aides. I will mentor these students as they assist in providing first aid of minor cuts and basics like water and taping. By offering morale building activities such as eating together or special trips that associate with the medical field, the students will establish a true learning community. Mentoring and encouraging students will allow them to see that the athletic training profession is an occupation that can bring joy to your life.”

He continues, “Every athlete needs a great mentor. The adolescent years are a very important stage in the course of human development. Athletes need to be taught the importance of health, nutrition, and sleep. I will be an excellent mentor and asset in the secondary school setting by encouraging and mentoring athletes to do their very best at everything even when faced with opposition.”

Sara Messer, ATC, assistant athletic trainer for York Comprehensive High School, sponsored Dustin’s scholarship application. In her recommendation letter, Sara wrote, “Much like Jack Cramer, Dustin has a passion for athletic training. He has a very strong desire to learn and grow as an athletic trainer. He is always asking questions and showing his leadership throughout his time here. Within the student aid staff he is looked upon for guidance in various matters. He is very skilled in taping techniques and is never afraid to ask questions when there is something he does not know. I can attest to his abilities in all of the various domains of athletic training.”

In addition to his exemplary work as a student athletic training aid, Dustin is an Internationally Licensed Lifeguard, a Certified Nursing Assistant in the state of North Carolina, and is recognized as a Certified Healthcare Provider by the American Heart Association. He is also a member of HOSA-Future Health Professionals, and attended numerous workshops and conferences throughout high school.

“Dustin exemplifies what the Jack Cramer Scholarship is all about,” says Rob Mogolov, general manager of Cramer Products. “We’re impressed with his dedication to athletic training throughout high school, and are certain his commitment and determination will grow through his college years along with his professional skills. Dustin’s future is bright, and all of us at Cramer wish him the very best on his journey to becoming an athletic trainer.”