CHARACTER COUNTS

UMKC track commit Naomi Malone has a plan to help others

Dec 19, 2023, 5:10 AM

Naomi Malone...

High school track and field student-athlete Naomi Malone.

University of Missouri-Kansas City sprinter commit Naomi Malone has a clear picture of her future, even if the present might be a tad busy.

Malone wants to get her dual citizenship to run for Mexico’s national team and in college wants to earn a bachelor’s in communications before heading to law school. The ultimate career goal: Become a sports agent.

Overall, it’s about helping others and impacting her community.

“I love helping people. I love seeing the smiles on peoples’ faces. I want to ensure I’m investing in my community to make sure we have generational success,” Malone said. “The people before me, they invested in me when I was little and my peers … I’m a Malone, so just dating back to my grandfather and great-grandfather, community service and helping our community was always a very big deal.”

Malone said her great-grandfather purchasing land in Homer, Louisiana, played a role in building that community. For her family specfically, that’s trickled down to her, as she credits her parents, Brian and Zaida, for giving her the opportunity to continue serving others.

Her experience to eventually reach her career dreams is stacking up with high school not yet over.

She attends PVOnline High School and plans to run the track and field season unattached while training with Mesa Community College under her long-time personal coaches. Dating back to grade school, Malone has been a part of the Maricopa County Teen Court Association and the Safe Schools Focus on Excellence programs.

“Kids who got in trouble in school, we help them … get a second chance,” she said of the teen court program, which focuses on restorative justice. “We help teach them about ways their community, ways to be successful and ways to just be a better overall person.

“I’ve learned about respecting others, being a leader, mentoring other students.”

Recently, Malone spent time with Arizona attorney general Kris Mayes at the Arizona Teen Court Association 17th Annual Youth Summit. Mayes spoke to Malone and her peers about the importance of helping build a strong community.

Malone, the current president of teen court program, was given a special Virtual Teen Court Leader in Action award in 2020 for helping the group continue operating during the pandemic.

Malone has also been recognized as a National Academic High School All-American by the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA).

She also was a keynote speaker at the Arizona Alliance of Black School Educators Ninth Annual Leadership Summit and has been involved in The Phoenix Chapter of the Links, a Black women’s service organization.

“At that summit, I was on a panel and we just talked about safe schools and equity in the classrooms and just making sure we feel safe as Black and Americans,” Malone said.

Malone meanwhile holds a GPA above 4.0 and stars on the track team.

Her 57.34-second 400-meter is among the best for the 2024 class, and she expects to be part of the Mexican Under-18 team, where she’ll be able to represent her mother’s side of the family.

She considers herself a leader for both the Elite Sports & Fitness Academy track club team and while running with older students at Mesa Community College. Malone believes God and her parents have had the most direct impact in setting her up to serve others.

“My faith is what continues to wake me up every day and continues to help me through,” she said. “As a Christian, I always believed that God always wanted me to help people.

As for her parents: “They never missed a track meet, never missed a school event … they’ve quit some of their jobs or took in less positions so that they can make sure they can attend every event I have. … Without them, I wouldn’t be in this position.”

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UMKC track commit Naomi Malone has a plan to help others