By Guest Contributor
May 30, 2018: Matt Behrens, a graduate of Bronxville High School class of 2014 and Georgetown University class of 2018, was named the Division I men's winner of the Yeardley Reynolds Love ("YRL") Unsung Hero Award, presented by the One Love Foundation. The award recognizes six winners, one from each division and gender, for their dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness, and sportsmanship, all qualities that Yeardley Love exemplified throughout her life.
The YRL Unsung Hero Award recognizes the accomplishments of student-athletes who help their teams achieve success in ways that may not be measured in goals, saves, or ground balls. This honor places value on characteristics that are often undervalued in the competitively charged environment of college lacrosse. The award recognizes the athlete who makes a significant contribution to the team while also bringing joy to teammates. The award recipients exhibit leadership as a positive role model and also are involved in community service. The recipients are awarded a sum of money from the One Love Foundation to be given to their favorite charity.
"It is a tremendous honor to win this award," said Behrens. "Having worked with One Love in the past, I am inspired by their efforts to connect, engage, and transform young people to create and maintain healthy relationships. Their work shows that student-athletes do have the power to create positive social change on an individual, team, and community level."
On the field, Behrens has played in all 61 games during his four-year tenure with the Hoyas. During Behrens's four-year career, he scored 30 goals to go with 15 assists for 45 points, while hauling in 36 ground balls. Georgetown won the 2018 BIG EAST Championship for the first time in program history and played in the 2018 NCAA tournament.
Off the field, Behrens has dedicated himself to many different avenues of service and leadership both within and outside of athletics. As a freshman and sophomore, he participated in and then served as a peer-leader for Young Leaders in Education about Diversity ("YLEAD"), a Georgetown pre-orientation program. As a YLEAD peer-leader, he created and led workshops on the intersections of identities and dialogued with DC political and cultural leaders on issues of social and political justice.
In his sophomore year, Behrens was accepted as one of five fellows (class of 2018) to the Patrick Healy Fellowship, a community of Georgetown undergraduates who engage community service, education, and programming initiatives that advocate for racial justice and social diversity on campus and within the DC community. In his junior year, he volunteered within L'Arche's Adams Morgan House, a community and workplace where people with intellectual and physical disabilities live, where he developed loving and mutual relationships and assisted with day-to-day operations. Throughout his four years, Behrens has served as a speaker for various campus and community events.
Within Georgetown's athletic community, Behrens helped student-athletes and teams engage questions concerning social justice and team inclusion. In his role as Georgetown's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee's inclusivity coordinator, he created, managed, and executed SAAC's 2017 fall event, Inclusive Leadership: A Discussion on Gender and Health in Sports. Behrens was also a speaker at Indianapolis at the NCAA Inclusion Forum in April, presenting as part of the workshop Generation Next: Student-Athletes Leading Inclusive Action on Campus.
Following graduation, Behrens plans to continue his education at Georgetown Law School.
Pictured here: Matt Behrens playing for the Hoyas.
Photo courtesy Georgetown University