Former Rapid City Central standout is newest Nike N7 Ambassador

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

After stellar careers at both Rapid City Central and the University of San Diego, Lauren Schad is now a professional volleyball player in France.

But despite all of her success, Schad has recently teamed up with Nike to inspire and help Native American youth around the country.    

Nike's N7 apparel is more than just running shoes, jackets and other active wear.

The profits from this collection help fun grants for Native and Aboriginal youth programs across the nation.

"Nike N7 is a branch off of Nike that Sam McCracken created," Nike N7 Ambassador Lauren Schad said. "It's a non-profit. It's the N7 fund. Basically they create two different types of lines, the summer and the holiday collection. And they use the funds that go from there to sponsor different organizations and different community events that people apply for through their grant."   

Former Rapid City Central standout Lauren Schad, who's an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, is one of the newest Nike N7 Ambassadors.

Schad says the program is a great opportunity to inspire Native American youth to live a healthier lifestyle through sports and disease prevention programs.

"Since 2009 when they started up, they've awarded 5.6 million in grants to 243 different communities and organizations that applied for it," Schad said. "Our goal is to eventually reach a million kids. Just to get them moving and get them starting up so they have things to look forward to like sports. I think we've reached up to 420,000 kids that we've worked with and that we've been able to kind of touch with their lives and  this program."

Schad is currently a professional volleyball player in the French Pro A League.

But during the off-season, she travels around the region hosting volleyball camps in Todd County, Eagle Butte and Pine Ridge, just to name a few.

Just like the Nike N7 program, it's her way of helping and inspiring the next generation.

"I want to be that person for them that they'll able to look up to. I want them to see me and say 'she looks like me. I want to be like her. I can achieve this and kind of go forth with it.'"

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