Gambacorta a Finalist for YRL Unsung Hero Award

May 15, 2018

MILWAUKEE – Marquette University women’s lacrosse senior Alex Gambacorta is one of five female finalists for the Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award, presented by the One Love Foundation. It marks the second-straight Marquette has had a finalist for this award (Alina Atayan, 2017).

The award recognizes one male and one female student-athlete from each division who make significant contributions to their team and community. The Unsung Hero Award embodies one’s dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness, and sportsmanship – all qualities that Yeardley Love exemplified throughout her life. The contributions made by each individual recognized is measured beyond their on-field accomplishments.

Gambacorta’s extensive volunteer work throughout the community, includes among others, PanCAN Awareness, Susan G. Komen 5K, Feeding America, Al’s Run, Stuff the Truck/Hunger Task Force, Out of Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk, SAAC Penny Wars fundraiser for Milwaukee Charities, Dance Marathon.

Perhaps most impressively, Gambacorta leaves a profound and lasting impact on the community for her efforts involving mental health advocacy and outreach.

As one of the founders of SHAPE (Student Health Allies and Peer Educators), an organization focused on connecting student-athletes with the health support they need, the Gambacorta-led group has transformed the mental health conversation on campus.

The organization participates in orientation, providing valuable contact information for support services to new students and staff. SHAPE hosted social events where groups such as the athletic training staff, campus ministry, and the counseling center were introduced to each other in order to build relationships and conversation through familiarity and comfort.



In addition, Gambacorta helped plan and organize a campus visit by Kate Fagan, the author of “What Made Maddy Run?” to speak about student-athlete mental health.

Through her fearless and courageous efforts with SHAPE, Gambacorta has fundamentally changed the culture of the Marquette Athletic department. She co-authored an essay with academic advisor Maureen Lewis, which brought to the forefront mental health advocacy to a more public forum. It appeared on Marquette University’s website and social media platforms and became the most-read article for the 2017-18 academic year.

During the school year, the Glenview, Illinois, native interned at Journey House, a group that helps empower families out of poverty, which is located near campus. A double-major in social welfare and justice and writing intensive English, Gambacorta developed social media platforms for the organization and utilized her skills to share the backstories of the people who work at Journey House, which provided an inspiration to others.

Throughout her time at Marquette, Gambacorta has spent countless hours of dedicated service on campus and in the community and with an unmatched enthusiasm. She embodies the meaning of the YRL Unsung Hero Award.

After graduation, Gambacorta will embark on a 10-month volunteer mission with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, serving as an academic aid in Montana.

Founded in 2010 to honor the memory of Yeardley Love, One Love’s mission is to end relationship abuse by educating young people about healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors and empowering them to be leaders driving change in their communities. Over the last two years, more than 130,000 young people in communities across the country have participated in the Escalation Workshop and almost 60 million have viewed the #ThatsNotLove campaign on social media. For more information, please visit

Yeardley Reynolds Love ("YRL") Unsung Hero Award Finalists

Women's Division I: 
Emma Lemay, Marist `20 
Alex Gambacorta, Marquette University `18 
Erika Mazer, Lafayette College `18 
Emma Dunne, Yale University `18 
Ellen Newtown, Canisius College `19

Women's Division II: 
Shannon Mazza, Florida Southern College `18 
Samantha Yurechek, Limestone College `18 
Sarah Reilly, Assumption College `19

Women's Division III: 
Lindsay Bateman, Averett University `21 
Kellen Cannon, Marymount University `18 
Erin Redmond, Rowan University `19 
Megan Cannon, St. Mary's College `18 
Katherine Lambert, University of Mary Washington `18

Men's Division I: 
Jake Pulver, Cornell University `18 
Patrick Dallon, St. Joseph's University `18 
Matt Behrens, Georgetown University `18

Men's Division II: 
Devan Martinez, Chestnut Hill College `18

Men's Division III: 
Stephen Ruppel, Lynchburg College `18 
Chris Albright - Christopher Newport University `18 
John Hunger - Hope College `18 


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