New Metropolitan Community College-Blue River grad Amber Krumm recently received a top honor from the National Junior College Athletic Association, but it requires a bit of explaining.
Until recently, a community college student athlete who’d earned a perfect 4.0 GPA after at least three semesters would receive the NJCAA’s Pinnacle Award. Under the previous guidelines, soccer player Krumm would have been not only MCC-Blue River’s first Pinnacle Award winner but also its only one for Spring 2017.
But the NJCAA no longer has a Pinnacle Award for student athletes. Now it names an All-Academic First Team (4.0 GPA), Second Team (3.8-3.99) and Third Team (3.6-3.79). Another change: Students can earn a spot on one of those teams after completing just two semesters.
So Krumm, who completed four semesters at MCC-Blue River, was named to the NJCAA All-Academic First Team. Two first-year students also made that team: teammates April Krumm (her younger sister) and Sydney Shatzer.
But don’t be confused. Amber “is the first Blue River student athlete to complete an A.A. with a 4.0 GPA,” says David Owens, MCC-Blue River head soccer coach.
Blue River became an official MCC campus in 1997 but didn’t didn’t offer an athletics program — soccer — until 2007.
Last fall, Krumm was also honored as one of two winners of the Trail Blazers Scholar Athlete Award at Blue River.
She is a 2015 Jefferson City High School graduate who signed to play soccer for MCC-Blue River in February of that year. She played defender for the Trail Blazers, which last fall took second place in NJCAA regional play.
Owens points out that Krumm scored the final goal in a 4-1 win over St. Louis Community College in the NJCAA Region XVI semifinal on Oct. 28, 2016.
As a soccer player “I liked the team atmosphere,” she says. “I thought our team really worked well together, and I definitely thought preseason really brought us together.”
Clearly, though, she also devoted significant time to her classes. After graduating with an MCC associate in arts degree, she will transfer this fall to UMKC, where she plans to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing degree. She’d like to become either a nurse practitioner or a doctor.
Outside of class and off the soccer field, Krumm was also a Student Ambassador — giving campus tours, calling potential students and the like — and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society.
As a PTK member she volunteered at Blue River’s annual All for the Children family resource fair this year. One of her jobs there was hiding eggs for the Easter egg hunt. (“It got to the point where you really couldn’t hide them anymore — you just started throwing them.”)
She also, on her own, volunteered for Safe Kids Johnson County. An example of her work there: measuring children’s heads to make sure they wore the right size bicycle helmet. She also talked to families about hazardous materials in the home and how to prevent potential accidents.
“I enjoy volunteering because I get to help families and interact with children as well as meet medical professionals,” she says. The experience was also a good introduction to public health, she says.
Owens, her coach, says: “To be able to balance academics, athletics and Student Ambassador responsibilities is a testament to her hard work and focus on excellence. Amber is a person of high character, and her leadership will be missed.”