Bueker Honored for Community Service
AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State junior quarterback Brett Bueker has been named to the conference's 2012 Winter Big 12 Conference Community of Champions. During the fall, winter and spring terms, one student-athlete from each conference institution is honored based on the following criteria:
Academics: An academic standard of a 3.00 grade-point average or higher must be maintained.
Community Service: The designated student-athlete should be involved with at least one community service program. The program(s) could be a student organization on campus or within the athletics department.
Leadership/Sportsmanship: The student-athlete should demonstrate leadership and sportsmanship on and off the field.
Bueker, a kinesiology major with a 3.36 grade-point average, has participated in a wide variety of charitable activities. It's not for personal accolades. He will be the first to tell you how much he has grown personally from each opportunity to help others. He says he is the one who profits from each experience. The Bettendorf native has given his time to Iowa Special Olympics in Ames.
"We've done a whole variety of things with the participants in the Special Olympic Games," Bueker said. "I have played football, baseball, basketball, run relays and then even danced with them. I have enjoyed it each year. Hanging with the Special Olympians puts smiles on their faces and my face. It is really rewarding personally. One is humbled that just being there makes them so excited."
Bueker also spent time with pre-school students who have special needs and found it to be a humbling in a different way.
"We played board games like Candyland and they were beating me every time," Bueker said. "I enjoyed going out to the playground with them for recess. That is when you really get to know them."
Bueker also promoted reading with young people.
"I read from Tiki and Ronde Barbers' book "Game Day" to some combined third and fourth-grade classes, Bueker said. "We got to meet the children individually during recess."
For the past three years, Bueker has been a Cyclone regular at local hospitals visiting patients, adults and children. Some are Iowa State fans and others who are just happy to talk to any visitor.
Bueker has made himself available to a variety of different charity events, including wheelchair basketball games. It is obvious that this Cyclone is a people person.
Bueker has volunteered at Wildwood Hill Ranch. The camp provides at-risk children from ages 8 to 16 with life-changing opportunities and camp programs.
"It's a great place," Bueker said. "It gives underprivileged children a chance to get outside and participate in a variety of activities. When I was there we played together on obstacle courses. We ate dinner with the children and got to know them a little. Some of these kids have been through a lot. Seeing them smile and enjoy the moment is unforgettable."
A standout because of his heart for the community and his academic success, Bueker also shines as a leader.
Bueker represents the football team on Iowa State's Student Athletics Advisory Council (SAAC). Bueker attended the Big 12 Conference Leadership Summit last August in Norman, Okla. Volleyball player Rachael Hockaday, gymnast Michelle Browning and wrestler Max Mayfield also attended the summit.
"It was interesting to hear how issues were addressed at other schools," Bueker said. "We split into groups and discussed a variety of issues. We took those ideas back to ISU share with our fellow athletes."
Bueker is a team leader on and off the field. He played in every game this season as a part of the Iowa State football team that beat No. 2 Oklahoma State and played in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in New York, N.Y.
Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads is effusive in his praise of Bueker.
"He is the consummate example of what an Iowa State football player can be," Rhoads said. "He leads by example. Brett is a real leader in workouts, including in the weight room. All that he has done in the community is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making contributions on behalf of our program and university. I know that first hand."
Iowa State will be awarded $4,500 from Chick-fil-A to honor Bueker's community activities.