May 12, 2016
Randy York N-Sider
Official Blog of the Huskers
Now I know why Nebraska’s top women’s tennis player over the past three seasons is the consummate multi-tasker. Maggy Lehmicke plans like she plays, serves and studies. The Huskers’ 4-star recruit from Kirkland, Wa., has worked so hard for so long and been so successful, she’s gone gaga with a trifecta that only she could dream up.
Step 1 was graduation. Last weekend, with her mom and stepdad arriving from Seattle and her dad flying in from Akron, Ohio, Lehmicke experienced one B1G celebration. “I was excited because education has always been a big deal in my family, and I felt like graduation was the first step to get where I want to go,” said Lehmicke, a keynote speaker at a Memorial Stadium reception for 58 Nebraska student-athletes who received diplomas at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Step 2 was a trip to the Dominican Republic. She’s one of 21 Husker student-athletes and four Nebraska employees (see list below) who packed their bags and flew last Sunday morning to the Dominican Republic. Consider it a sequel to Nebraska’s inaugural student-athlete trip to Guatemala, where minds were opened, views were changed and marks were left.
“This trip is really important to me because service has become a huge part of my life and it’s really awesome when you get the chance to combine two of your passions,” Lehmicke said. “For me, it’s my love of service and my love of culture. Giving back is great, but it’s even more fun when you get to learn about and immerse yourself in a community that’s entirely different from anything you’re used to.”
Lehmicke’s DNA is a gravitational pull to lead and be a role model, but here’s another intriguing fact about a nonstop optimum achiever: She’s added one more open-ended yet strategic experience to her busy life after she returns from the Dominican Republic.
Maggy’s Dream Finale: From June to November, It’s Europe to Southeast Asia
Step 3 is a 19-country, five-month world tour. “I’m going with one of my best friends from home in Seattle,” Lehmicke (pictured above at graduation) told me before departing to the Dominican Republic. “We’re going all the way from Europe to Southeast Asia. We’re taking off June 1st and won’t come back until the second week of November.”
Talk about someone waiting to exhale. It’s fascinating to see an immediate college graduate carve out the first five months of the rest of her life in a worldwide tour. “I guess I’ll have to start looking for a job after that, but I’m trying not to think too much about my future for once and just focus on the now,” she said.
Lehmicke is trailblazer and a winner, too. As a freshman, she played a pivotal role on Nebraska’s 2013 Big Ten Championship tennis team. “There was just something about that team and that moment that resonated with me,” she said. “It’s something I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.”
Her greatest life lesson at Nebraska is multi-faceted. “It’s important to embrace people not just with an open mind, but an open heart,” she said. “When we open our hearts to others, we learn a lot more about ourselves than we could’ve thought. I’ve found that having a servant heart may be one of the most important ways I’ve spent my time here.”
Even though she’s visiting 19 more countries after experiencing the Dominican Republic, nothing will compare to “getting to work alongside my fellow Huskers for an awesome cause while meeting the people that we’re impacting,” Lehmicke said. “It’s such a cool thing to be able to see the actual result of what you’re doing.”
For the First Time in Her Life, She’ll Be Forced to Be Spontaneous and Carefree
Lehmicke’s trifecta is a bit overwhelming, especially when only two weeks separate her Dominican Republic service trip to a world tour with a close friend. “For the first time in my life, I guess I’ll be forced to be spontaneous and carefree,” she said. “Even though I may be nervous or anxious, I know I’m going to learn from this and ultimately come back a better person.”
Adding an interesting footnote to her inherent logic, Lehmicke (competing for the Huskers above) said: “I don’t know anyone who became a worse person by traveling.”
Most likely, the same conclusion will be reached by the following 25 Nebraskans who are visiting the Dominican Republican this week, working alongside natives who need help to build a basketball court. Anytime you volunteer to serve the less fortunate, you can bet 25 Huskers will head back to Lincoln Sunday with sharpened minds, changed perspectives and warmer hearts.
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21 Nebraska Student-Athletes Take a Service Trip to the Dominican Republic
Connor Adamsick, Men’s Gymnastics (Mundelein, Illinois)
Tyler Berger, Wrestling (Prineville, Oregon)
Byerson Cockrell, Football (Columbus, Mississippi)
Melanie Crawford, Bowling (Plano, Texas)
Michaela Cunningham, Swimming & Diving (Saverna Park, Maryland)
Caroline Flynn, Soccer (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Calvin Freeman, Men’s Golf (Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer, Nebraska)
John Grose, Baseball, 2002-03-04 (Henderson, Nevada)
Samantha Hardewig, Swimming & Diving (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Briana Holman, Volleyball (DeSoto, Texas)
Collin Jensen, Wrestling (Mobridge, South Dakota)
Maggy Lehmicke, Tennis (Kirkland, Washington)
Mackenna Maddox-Herr, Tennis (McKinney, Texas)
Alexandra Mosquera, Bowling (Armenia, Colombia)
Jaylyn Odermann, Soccer (Gretna, Nebraska)
Tiara Tingle, Women’s Track & Field (Brandon, South Dakota)
Coleman Tokar, Men’s Gymnastics (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Krista Van Wie, Swimming & Diving (Grand Island, Nebraska)
Kieron Williams, Football (Shreveport, Louisiana)
Aaron Wong, Men’s Golf (Chandler, Arizona)
Emily Wood, Women’s Basketball (Salina, Kansas)
Four Nebraska Department of Athletics Employees Lead Service Abroad Trip
Stacey Burling, Life Skills Coordinator
Bridget Nelson, Video Production Specialist
Jordan Wilson, Life Skills Coordinator
Keith Zimmer, Senior Associate A.D./Life Skills & N Club