Figueroa makes history

Alelee Figueroa at the 2018 MEAC Women’s Track & Field Championships. Photo courtesy Figueroa

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference recently announced that Alelee Figueroa, 22, a May graduate ofFlorida A&M University, has been named the league’s Woman of the Year for  2019-2020.

Since this announcement, the track and field champion has been overwhelmed with text messages of congratulations as she celebrates her achievement.

“An honor is an understatement. It feels amazing to be recognized by the MEAC for all the things I did in undergrad, not only in athletics but in academics, extracurricular, and community activities. It has assured me that the hard work wasn’t done in vain,” Figueroa said. 

Figueroa said her parents have been a positive influence in her success. “They came all the way from the Philippines and worked in jobs they didn’t study for in order to provide for my sisters and I. The one thing they asked of us was to finish college. In everything I do, I just want to make them proud.”

Figueroa takes great pride knowing that her hard work has paid off.

This journey has not been easy for Figueroa. She has overcome challenges she faced that have only made her more humble and grateful. She had to manage her time between school, ROTC and extracurricular activities.

For her to excel she had to master exceptional communication skills in order for those around her to understand the legacy she was building.

“The personal challenges I faced was learning more of who I am. Being heavily involved on campus and in the community allowed me to accumulate various experiences where I learned a lot about myself — what I like, what I don’t like, what I want, what I stand for, how I plan to be in the future,” she said.

Rachel Robertson, 20, was on FAMU ’s track and field team with Figueroa. “Alelee never fails to continue to inspire me and the team with the things she achieves. The influence of her leadership sets a high precedent to the rest of us and it shows that working hard, disciplined, and being determined will allow us to be successful,” Robertson said.

Figueroa has made FAMU history as the first student from the university to receive the Woman of the Year award. She has left her mark on her community as well as her teammates. 

MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas said,“Her service to the community is truly exceptional. I would like to thank the Florida A&M University athletic staff, coaches, academic support personnel and Alelee’s family, who all had an influential part in her success. I wish her continued success in her future endeavors.”

 This will not be the last accomplishment for Figueroa.She plans to carry on with her passion for serving others as the Second Lieutenant for the Adjutant General Corps.