By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Thirteen student-athletes have been selected to participate in the 2014 Red Cross/NAIA Collegiate Leadership Program. The initiative, now in its seventh year, continues to inspire, motivate and create a new and diverse generation of American Red Cross volunteers and leaders through exemplifying the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program.
As part of its support of the Red Cross diversity initiatives, State Farm Insurance is sponsoring this partnership. The leadership program kicks off with two weeks of energetic training at the Red Cross National Headquarters located in Washington, D.C. from June 2 to June 13. The incoming class will have the unique opportunity to acquire first-hand coaching, mentoring and professional leadership training from one of the nation’s largest non-profit organizations’ senior leaders. In addition, Kristin Gillette, NAIA Champions of Character Director, will hold character workshops during the two week leadership academy.
“Student athletes are seen as leaders on campus and this program strives to further develop their leadership skills by focusing on a lifesaving mission,” said Brian Hamil, Red Cross National Chair Biomedical Services. “By having these student athletes rally around the importance of donating blood through the Red Cross, they help spread enthusiasm and encourage other students to get behind the cause.”
This once-in-a-lifetime experience allows NAIA student-athletes to become part of a team of volunteers made up of young adults from NAIA campuses across the country. The program is part of a larger Red Cross diversity strategy for moving the Red Cross from awareness to action, building the Red Cross’ capacity to serve all Americans.
As far of the two-week training program, student-athletes will hear from civic and business leaders, learning how to uncover their leadership potential off the field. Following their training, participants will organize successful campus blood drives, actively participate on a leadership board and take part in diversity and cultural competency training. For their efforts, each student-athlete will receive a scholarship, provided by the Red Cross and State Farm Insurance.
2014 Red Cross/NAIA Collegiate Leadership Program Participants
Kelley Cohron – Brenau University (Ga.), tennis
Yfen Dalipi – Marygrove College (Mich.), soccer
Kayla Day – University of Pikeville (Ky.), basketball
Jerica Drago – Missouri Baptist, dance
Nicole Gill – Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.), volleyball
Haylie Gutierrez – Faulkner University (Ala.), soccer
Ja’Keisha Haynes – Wiley College (Texas), cheerleading
Megan Mosiniak – Lourdes University (Ohio), cross country & softball
Bryan Palmer – Goshen College (Ind.), baseball
Kaitlin Pontikes – Oklahoma City University, cross country & track
Madalyn Smith – Judson University (Ill.), softball
Zach Sollie – Auburn University at Montgomery (Ala.), cross country
Julia Tyree – Concordia University (Neb.), softball
To learn more about the Red Cross/NAIA Collegiate Leadership Program, click here.
To learn more about the 2014 Red Cross/NAIA Collegiate Leadership Program Participants, click here.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. To learn more visit www.redcross.org.
About the NAIA
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. NAIA members provide more than 60,000 student-athletes with opportunities to play college sports, earn $500 million in scholarships and compete in 23 national championships.
Today, the NAIA strengthens its commitment to student-athletes and strives to enrich their college experience by supporting academic achievement and character development. NAIA Champions of Character is the association's innovative flagship program designed to instill character values in student-athletes, coaches and youth in the communities it serves. To learn more visit www.NAIA.org.