Culture

In One Week This Latina Became Homeless, Her Mom Abandoned Her, Yet She Landed A Huge Scholarship That Changed Her Life

Anya Sifuentes knows how to outrun adversity. The high school athlete from Northside High School in Arkansas has overcome homelessness and is now on her way to college.

And so much of her success has to do with her strength and determination, key traits of any prime athlete.

Last October, Sifuentes, went home after school to find she was permanently locked out of her own home.

“It was late September that things just started getting strange,” Sifuentes explained in an interview with CBS affiliate KFSM-TV. “On October 1, I went home right after I went after school and realized that I couldn’t get in my home anymore.”

The reason why Sifuentes and her family were expelled from their home is unknown but according to CBS, as soon as she learned the news she went straight to her track coach.

“She called me and she was just distraught,” Jeff Smith, Sifuentes’ track coach told CBS News. “I said, ‘What’s the matter?’ She goes, ‘I’m homeless. I don’t have any clothes. I don’t have a place to go.'”

Sifuentes’ story took a turn for the even worse when her mother told her that she was leaving the family as well.

“My mom started really acting weird and you could tell that she was late on all of her bills and she wasn’t acting the same anymore,” Sifuentes said. “My mom said that ‘I’m not gonna stay with y’all.’ I thought, ‘Why?'”

Left to raise two younger siblings and a nephew, Sifuentes says she realized she had to step up and take things into her own hands. “To think that we’d be separated — I did not like the feeling,” she said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be the same anymore.”

Determined to keep her siblings and family together, Sifuentes took on multiple jobs, got her family into a new apartment and started to sign the checks for bills. This, all while attending classes and going to track practice.

“It just slaps you in the face — knowing that you’re an adult now,” Sifuentes explained in an interview. “You can’t play around now. You can’t just slack off one day because it will hit you later.”

Still, despite all of the stress she had over money and keeping her family together, Sifuentes says she overcame her depression by keeping her goal of being happy in mind.

“I set a goal in my mind. I have a goal to be happy, even though all this is going on and my family doesn’t seem like a family anymore,” Sifuentes said. “I’m depressed and I’m stressed and money is overwhelming right now. I thought to myself, ‘God is the only thing that’s going to get me through all this pain.'”

Running became an outlet for the teen, and eventually, it became her champion.

This past year, the high school senior was offered a scholarship by the University of the Ozarks to run for their team. She signed with them last month and will be headed to their track field in the coming Fall semester.

“I just look back and think, ‘This is who you are. You’re someone strong,'” Sifuentes stated on her impression of herself after overcoming so much. “You don’t give up easily. Even though times get rough, you have to keep going. Even though you fall down, you have to keep going.”

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Nets Player Kyrie Irving Commits $1.5 Million To Help Pay The Salaries Of WNBA Players Opting Out Of The 2020 Season

Entertainment

Nets Player Kyrie Irving Commits $1.5 Million To Help Pay The Salaries Of WNBA Players Opting Out Of The 2020 Season

Rob Carr / Getty

While WNBA players were able to receive a modest salary increase in the 2019-20 season, the bump up has yet to give way to the opportunity of true equity. This has proven to be particularly true when their male counterparts of the NBA are thrown into the mix.

Today, the average salary of a WNBA player starts at around $50,000 and caps off at $110,000. On the other hand, a player starting out in the NBA starts out with a salary that averages around $560,000. Currently, amid COVID-19 shutdowns, this massive gap in salary is heavily affecting the WNBA players who are being paid less and opting to forgo playing during the 2020 season.

According to NBC Sports, WNBA executives and athletes have agreed that players who are considered “at-risk” for the COVID-19 virus can opt-out of playing this season and still receive a full paycheck. Meanwhile, those who are not “at-risk” but make the decision not to play will not receive compensation.

Fortunately, many NBA players are aware of the ways in which this disparity affects them differently and are working to support the women who play the game as well.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is leading the charge to ensure that WNBA athletes who opt out of playing this season can do so without worrying about finances. 

The Nets point guard announced in a statement made via his KAI Empowerment Initiative, that he pledges to commit $1.5 million to cover the salaries of WNBA players who have opted out of playing in the 2020 season. As part of his effort, Irving has also partnered with the investment banking company UBS to offer financial literacy programs to each of the players in the WNBA.

“This platform was created to provide support for all WNBA players in hopes to relieve some of the financial strain imposed during these challenging times,” Irving explained in a statement. “Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions.”

Players must provide the reasons behind their decision to not participate in the 2020 season to qualify.

In order to qualify, WNBA players cannot receive any additional financial support from other organizations.

According to CNBC, Irving makes an annual average salary of roughly $34 million and said that he was inspired to start the fund “after WNBA players Natasha Cloud of the Washington Mystics and Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm connected him with several of their WNBA peers who discussed some of the challenges they would face if they opted not to play when the season started on July 25.”

Cloud recently announced that she will be committing her time during the season to fight for racial and social justice instead of playing.

Players Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes of the Atlanta Dream, have also confirmed their decision to take part in the fight. In addition, ten other WNBA athletes have also confirmed that they will not be playing this year because of health concerns or other reasons related to the fight for social justice.

Speaking with ESPN’s The Undefeated, Cloud explained, “It’s hard to think about basketball with the climate of what we’re in right now socially after George Floyd was murdered.” 

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Miami Marlins Covid Outbreak Causes Chaos Of MLB Season After One Weekend

Entertainment

Miami Marlins Covid Outbreak Causes Chaos Of MLB Season After One Weekend

Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

An outbreak of Covid among MLB players and coaches has postponed the highly anticipated and very hyped return of the season. It took less than a week since the sport came back for there to be a viral outbreak within the league.

The Miami Marlins are dealing with a Covid outbreak within the team before their opening games.

Half of the players for the Miami Marlins are positive for Covid-19 before the home opener against the Baltimore Orioles. The Marlins’ season has been paused through the weekend and the lineup was changed up to make sure the season can continue.

“Obviously, we don’t want any player to get exposed. It’s not a positive thing,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday night on the MLB Network. “But I don’t see it as a nightmare.” He continued: “We think we can keep people safe and continue to play.”

Phillies Outfielder Andrew McCutchen took to Twitter to vent his frustration about MLB communication.

Apparently, McCutchen didn’t know that the Phillies game against the New York Yankees Tuesday was canceled until getting on Twitter. The weekend schedule was thrown into turmoil after news broke about the outbreak on the Miami Marlins. The outbreak comes as some have criticized the MLB for not trying a bubble conference, like the NBA and NHL.

Other teams in the league are showing their own discomfort with the current situation.

The Nationals were supposed to play in Miami this weekend but the surge in Covid cases in Florida put an end to that. The Washington Nationals voted to postpone and the MLB followed their lead and canceled that series.

In a statement by the MLB, the Miami Marlins are the only confirmed team to have a Covid outbreak. The league recently conducted 6,400 tests among players and coaches and haven’t found other outbreaks on the remaining 29 teams.

READ: This MLB Team Just Swore In 15 New American Citizens And Our Hearts Are Overflowing With Emotion

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