Former diver earns prestigious community award


Former Northern Arizona University student-athlete Danielle Borth has earned a prestigious Community Leadership Award from the Leadership Committee, a Phoenix-based non-profit organization.

Borth, a four-year diver for the Lumberjacks, also earned this year’s female Lumberjack Service Award from the Athletics Department after contributing 132 hours of community service her senior year.

The diver graduated from NAU in May with a degree in public relations/advertising. She is a four-time Western Athletic Conference All-Academic Team honoree and a four-time recipient of an NAU Golden Eagle Scholar Athlete Award.

“It’s definitely an honor that I was by no means expecting,” Borth said. “It’s really nice to be recognized outside of athletics because most of the time people don’t look past your athletic accomplishments. It’s great to show that you can be involved in the community while you’re a student-athlete, and it’s especially nice to be recognized at the statewide level.”

Borth spent most of her hours volunteering for Young Life, a non-denominational Christian-based organization that reaches out to high school students.

“Every week I met with high school students and we put on something called ‘Club,’ which is a place for students to come hang out on Monday nights,” Borth said. “It’s a safe and fun place, and I was involved in it during high school. It was nice to be able to pour out what people poured into me when I was going through high school.”

The awards are presented annually to Arizona individuals and organizations involved in sports, who have demonstrated courage and commitment in serving the community.

Tom Ambrose, executive director of Phoenix Suns Charities, who has been the Phoenix Suns main liaison with the community for 36 years, is this year’s Lifetime Achievement winner.
Along with Borth, others being recognized include Rod Smith, founder and executive director for Future for Kids; Petar Draksin, a soccer coach for Grand Canyon University; the World Champion Phoenix Mercury; and student Loretta Bennet from Crittenton Academy in Phoenix.

The community leadership awards are being presented at a banquet at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix today.

“In an era of sports scandals and controversies,” TLC CEO Denise Meridith said, “it is refreshing to honor people and organizations who are excellent role models for youth in Arizona.”

Borth’s impressive athletic career at NAU included earning two bronze medals at the 2008 WAC Championships and qualifying for the NCAA Zone E Regional Diving Championships for the third straight year in 2008, finishing 10th on the 1-meter event.

Currently, Borth is completing a three-month internship for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, a public relations firm in Washington, making use of her degree in public relations. However, she is still figuring out exactly what’s next in her career.