Student strikes gold cheering for 49ers

ARC Student Ali Gee in her Gold Rush uniform.

Ali Gee enjoys Sundays on the side-lines, but the community service is her passion.

The San Francisco 49ers weren’t the only ones making strides this past football season. Much like the unlikely journey to the NFC championship, there is also an American River College student and Gold Rush squad member looking forward to new experiences.

This past season Ali Gee, which is an alias used for privacy issues with the Gold Rush, is an education major at ARC. This past fall, Gee commuted to Candlestick to cheer during home games for the Niners.

But the job is not just doting pompoms. Gee and the rest of the Gold Rush members perform numerous hours with community outreach programs.

And this is what Gee says is the best part of the gig.

“I wouldn’t be given these opportunities without Gold Rush,” said Gee.

Sincere and humble, Gee explained seeing herself on the cover of the 2012 Gold Rush Calendar. “Oh my Gosh, I was not expecting it at all as a rookie,” said Gee, “ I felt honored, and I will always remember that feeling.”

However, being on the cover isn’t the coolest thing to her. Gee says the community outreach is one of the coolest things or “perks.”

Her attitude towards helping the community and others stems close to her heart. Her youngest sibling, and only brother Zack, has been living with Cerebral Palsy since birth. She attributes him as her hero.

“{He} lives his life with so much optimism, he inspires me everyday,” said Gee.

Gee was inspired to study early childhood education with and emphasis on special education. Zack defied the odds stacked against him by his doctors; he walked. Even better, now age sixteen, he’s enrolled and an assistant varsity basketball coach at the same high school his older sister began her cheerleading career, Gee explained.

Easily able to fall into the typical blond cheerleader mold, Gee is far from it.

“She’s super sweet, and people think she is fake, but she is honestly a genuine, nice person,” said Salina Contreras, 22, a former ARC student and friend of Gee’s.

Her good-natured character is contagious and stretches even further into the classroom.

“She is the type of person an institution like ARC takes pride in,” said Gee’s former statistics professor Matt Mitchell. “She’s the type of student that teachers enjoy teaching. She’s such a pleasure to be around, and I think she truly has the ability to excel in any endeavor she pursues.”

Gee’s advice to others, “So cliché but… If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” It took her three attempts to make the squad. She hopes to be invited back next season, as well as become a 5-year veteran of the squad. When asked what song could be found currently playing on her iPod, “Probably “Hotel California” by The Eagles.” It’s apparent that Gee is living it up, in northern California that is.


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