March 23, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - University of North Carolina student-athletes have the opportunity to spend four years improving and honing their leadership skills as part of the renowned Carolina Leadership Academy. Sunday, CLA members passed some of that training along to younger leaders, a group of approximately 50 eighth-graders who took part in the second-annual Student Leadership Summit, held on the UNC campus at Kenan Field House.
Summit participants rotated through sessions covering three main topics: Building confidence and composure, developing character and commitment, and becoming a vocal leader. UNC student-athletes who served as instructors used activities, exercises and presentations, as well as examples from their own athletic careers, to convey the material for each section.
Jocelyn Brault and Caitlin Young, both seniors on the women's lacrosse team, organized the 2009 summit after taking part in last year's inaugural event. Other Carolina Leadership Academy members involved in Sunday's event were Katie Brooks (women's lacrosse), Kristen Carr (women's lacrosse), Krista Jasper (gymnastics), Megan McMullin (rowing), Norjai Palma (track & field), Sam Pompei (cross country/track & field), JoAnne Rogers (rowing), David Solarz (swimming & diving) and Katie Wood (rowing).
Marcus Ginyard, a senior on the men's basketball team and president of UNC's Student-Athlete Advisory Council, spoke with each group about the importance of leadership. He also fielded questions from the groups and talked about ways in which he is able to be a leader on the Tar Heel squad despite currently being sidelined by an injury.
The free program, which drew participants from all over the state, targeted students who take part in sports or other extracurricular activities, seeking to help them develop leadership skills they can use in athletics and other activities, as well as in their daily lives.
"Jocelyn Brault and Caitlin Young have done a fabulous job of putting this together," said Jeff Janssen, Co-Director and Lead Instructor for the CLA. "They experienced the program last year, tweaked a lot of things from the way we did it last year and designed a great academy. I think the students who came got a chance to learn from very experienced leaders."