April 6 is National Student Athlete Day, a day started by the National Consortium for Athletics and Sports. It’s a chance to celebrate student athletes who excel in their sports and beyond. We couldn’t think of a better way to introduce our new social media community management specialist, former student athlete himself, Darius Merriweather!
Darius joined the AmeriHealth New Jersey team in early 2022 and is responsible for monitoring community communications on our social media channels, as well as advocacy and employee engagement.
We sat down with Darius to get to know a little more about him and how his past life as a student athlete helped prepare him for the future.
How long was your career as a student athlete?
About 16 years. I started playing organized basketball in the second grade and played football through college until I was 22 years old.
What was the greatest accomplishment of your athletic career?
Getting a full scholarship to play Division 1 Football. Not many athletes can say that they were able to play the sport they love while going to school, so I am very proud of that.
Balancing sports and education can be difficult — can you share anything you did to make sure you were taking care of your mental health?
I went to school sixteen hours away from my friends and family here in New Jersey. It was extremely tough to not be able to rely on their constant presence to get through challenging moments. However, I found when I channeled my energy into extracurricular activities like clubs and organizations, it helped expand my horizons outside of athletics. I honestly believe that gave me the ability to generate skills that translate to the workplace.
How did college sports prepare you for adulthood and your career?
Playing sports in college gave me not only networking opportunities, but also the discipline to be able work in any environment with an array of different teaching and learning styles.
Darius Merriweather holds a B.A. in Digital Media from the University of Findlay. He is a native of Voorhees, New Jersey, where he attended Eastern Regional High School. A decorated three-sport athlete, he earned a full Division 1 scholarship to play football for the Southern Illinois Salukis.