This just in, from the NCAA …
Approximately 200 NCAA Division I student-athletes will meet in Atlanta for leadership development and to partner with local elementary school children, teachers and parents to complete a beautification project at [Mary Lin Elementary and Burgess-Peterson Academy]. The projects and meetings will take place October 23-25.
On Saturday, October 24, the college student-athletes will volunteer time to join with Atlanta community organizations, including Keep Atlanta Beautiful, on a beautification project at Mary Lin and Burgess-Peterson. The goal of the project will be to create a more environmentally friendly surrounding and to promote leadership and positive lifestyles for the youth. The beautification project will take place from 1-3:15 p.m.
In addition to working with the elementary school children and their teachers on school and grounds improvements, the NCAA student-athletes will have an opportunity to meet U.S. Congressman John Lewis, who will attend the beautification project in support of the community service work the NCAA student-athletes, elementary school students and their teachers will be performing in the city. Lewis, who will meet the student-athletes, students and volunteers at Mary Lin Elementary, is considered by many to be one of the most courageous persons in the Civil Rights Movement, demonstrating leadership that has helped protect human rights and secure civil liberties in the U.S.
At least 135 NCAA student-athletes will go to Mary Lin where they will work alongside 150 elementary students, teachers, parents and local volunteers. They will plant garden beds and make improvements to the outdoor classrooms and play spaces, in addition to meeting Congressman Lewis at Mary Lin. The remaining student-athletes, students and volunteers will go to Burgess-Peterson where they will also plant garden beds and improve the playgrounds and playing fields.
The NCAA sponsors regional leadership development conferences for its student-athletes in Division I, II and III that help develop the skill sets of the student-athletes, while also providing a forum for them to discuss campus and national issues with coaches, athletics administrators and faculty. The theme of the Atlanta regional leadership conference is “Leadership Through Service,” and will include discussion and training on how student-athletes can lead while in college and transcend those skills to leadership roles after graduation. The student-athletes are able to take what they learn back to their campuses to inform their respective Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAACs) and promote positive change at their schools.
The NCAA student-athletes participating in the leadership conference and the beautification project represent five NCAA Division I athletic conferences: Atlantic 10, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big South Conference, Colonial Athletic Association and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.