Junior Elizabeth West volunteers after school as an assistant trainer


Makenzie Shubnell

Junior Elizabeth West wraps senior Alex Grabowski’s ankle after school.

For most students, after school is a time to go home, eat some food, maybe take a nap . . . but not for junior Elizabeth West. As a student looking forward to a career in the medical field, West takes time out of her day to support Rochester’s trainer as they wrap ankles side by side, a job she took on her sophomore year.

Basically what happened was I was injured, and I was getting help from Crystal,” West said. “I was in [the training room] so much, that she was like, ‘Honestly, if you’re going to be in here, you’re going to help me,’ and I said ok, and that’s how it all started.”

RHS’s new athletic trainer Jim Niemi describes West’s responsibilities when she comes in to help out.

“She really ‘moms’ the situation,” Niemi said. “She keeps everybody in control, so that’s one of her biggest assets.”

West has an interest in medicine and hopes that volunteering after school is just a step in the direction to a career in training.

“I love it. I want to be a trainer,” West said. “[I want to go to] MSU; they have a really good training program there.”

With all of the ankles wrapped and water jugs filled comes recognition from student-athletes across all sports.

“I do notice her help,” junior Jacob Jackson said. “It’s nice having someone beside Jim to tape kids up and talk with; it makes the process go a lot faster and more efficient.”

Not only is West appreciated by the athletes, but by her mentor as well.

“I’m very thankful — she is awesome — she really helps take quite a bit of work load off me,” Niemi said. “She actually has some athletes that actually prefer her, so that’s kind of cool.”

Of course West wants all of this hard work to pay off and she plans on becoming a trainer.

“I’d really like to do major leagues, but that’s a lot of work,” West said. “I mean, I guess I could do physical therapy. My other things I’m trying to do are sign language or early education.”

West says her forward-thinking about gaining experience has set her up for many experiences.

“Sometimes last year I helped out at the end of the school year,” West said. “All three high schools around here need major physical exams, so I would go there and help out.”

Jackson thinks West’s idea to volunteer in this fashion is really smart.

“I think volunteering would be an effective way to spend one’s time,” Jackson said. “It prepares people for the real world and gives them hands-on experience for any jobs they wish to do in the future.”