VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - There's something to be said for being positive.
Valdosta State Kayla Robles has made a name for herself with her positivity, and she's being rewarded for it.
The Blazer soccer player has been named the Most Positive Collegiate Athlete by Positive Athlete Georgia. She'll be honored at a banquet Tuesday night in Atlanta. The organization was founded by former Georgia Bulldog and Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward.
Robles was the Blazers team captain during her senior year, and has overcome a severe speech impediment that has she has endured since childhood.
She says staying positive changed her life.
"That's just something I always grew up with," she says. "I've learned you can change your mindset over anything if you have a positive attitude."
Robles graduated from VSU in May, but her impact on the school and the soccer program will be felt for some time. The Flowery Branch, GA native served as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at VSU, eventually being named the National SAAC representative for the Gulf South Conference.
Robles says there was a time when she was afraid to speak up in class due to her speech impediment. Now Robles is serving as a leader on the field and in the classroom.
She says she hopes her positivity through tough circumstances will inspire.
"If you have a negative attitude, it spreads quickly as well," Robles says. "I would hope that me being positive and being out there will catch people's eyes and show them that it's not always bad."
Robles will be honored at the ceremony alongside 30 high school student-athletes, as well as Georgia Tech head men's basketball coach Josh Pastner and Americus native and former NFL coach Dan Reeves.
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