High School Leadership Summit

On Sept. 30, more than 100 student-athletes, coaches and athletic directors from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and area independent schools participated in the High School Leadership Summit at Northeastern University–Charlotte’s campus. The summit was a joint initiative between Northeastern and Sue Doran, Director of Athletics for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The half-day summit included three sessions for student-athletes, as well as a two-hour session for coaches and ADs.

Members of Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society led a two-part student-athlete session based on the Center’s Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) curriculum. MVP is a nationally renowned gender violence prevention program that has worked with high school, college and professional athletes. The two interactive sessions left student-athletes with the skills to be leaders around issues of battery and bystander education.

Brian Parker of the Taylor Hooton Foundation led the third student-athlete session. The Taylor Hooton Foundation is the nation’s leading organization solely dedicated to educating youth and their adult influencers on the dangers of Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs. The foundation’s programs offer an all-encompassing pragmatic view of these drugs and the social issues and pressures driving their usage. With over one million kids admittedly using these drugs and 85% of our youth never being educated on the topic, the Taylor Hooton Foundation hopes to change this situation through increased education and awareness.

Jarrod Chin, Director for Training and Curriculum at the Center for the Study of Sport in Society, led the coaches and ADs in their own session focused on understanding how to address gender based violence and promote healthy relationships for their student-athletes. Training goals included: raising awareness to the issues of gender violence, as it relates to student-athletes and coaches; challenging participants to critically think about their views around issues of gender violence; opening dialogue by creating a safe environment for coaches to share their opinions and experiences about issues of gender violence; and inspiring leadership by empowering participants with concrete options and skills to address issues of gender violence as it relates to their players, colleagues and school.

Student-athletes and adults left the day’s summit feeling knowledgeable, empowered, and ready to elicit change, both within themselves and in their respective school communities.

About the Author:

Tammy McNish serves as the Assistant Director of Admissions. She is the primary contact for associations, organizations and community events related to the recruitment and enrollment in the region’s social sector—including education, nonprofit, government, sports and tourism organizations. McNish received a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Hood College in Maryland, where she graduated with departmental honors. In 2003, she was selected for the Los Angeles Times Jim Murray Sports Journalism Workshop. She is currently enrolled in the Sports Leadership program.

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