Allison (Bell) Richards, a competitive athlete, exceptional student and community volunteer was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She began her athletic career at Linden Hills Park, playing SWAC soccer at the age of 5, SWAC basketball at the age of 8 and SWAC softball at the age of 9. Allison’s competitive nature always stood out from the beginning. “Though she be but little she is fierce” written by William Shakespeare could accurately describe Allison’s athletic career as she was typically the shortest person on her team, she continually made up for it in her drive, enthusiasm, and leadership on and off the field and court.
At Southwest, Allison played soccer for 5 seasons, basketball for 4 seasons and softball for one season earning herself the Athena Award for athletic and academic excellence. In soccer, Allison always left it all on the field earning a varsity starting midfield position for 3 years that earned her a letter for each of those years. She was team MVP, All-Conference 2 years, All-State Honorable Mention, “Laker Award” recipient, and the team’s leading goal scorer for 2 years with a career total of 28 goals and 8 assists in 33 games. Allison’s basketball career was also notable as she started and lettered all 4 years of high school at point guard and was team cocaptain for 2 seasons. Allison was named “Best Defender” 3 years and also the given the “Laker Award” for her basketball accomplishments.
Allison’s list of accomplishments outside athletics are equally impressive as she earned a 3.9 GPA in the International Baccalaureate Program, was a member of the National Honor Society, Academic All-State Soccer Team, Student Council Secretary, Class Board Treasurer, Homecoming Court Princess junior year, Abbott Northwest Hospital Volunteer, Mt. Olivet Church Choir member, Cathedral of the Pines Camp Counselor and Work Staffer and Church Youth Board Member.
Allison went on to play soccer at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Allison then received a Master’s degree from the Counseling and Personnel Psychology Program at the University of Minnesota and then a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from The University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA. Allison is currently a practicing Psychologist in St. Paul, Minnesota, and resides in Minneapolis with her husband, John Richards and their three children, Jane, Nina and Calvin.