Reinhardt University student-athlete Olivia Goodall recently took part in the Red Cross/National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Collegiate Leadership Program in Washington, D.C., from June 7-18. Goodall, a member of the Reinhardt women's cross country team who also serves as a University cheerleader, was one of just 15 NAIA student-athletes from across the country selected to participate for two weeks of energetic leadership training at the Red Cross National Headquarters.
"It was so much fun and an amazing experience," said Goodall (pictured at right, and pictured below, front row, fourth from right), a sophomore business major who is originally from Boston, Mass., but now resides in Marietta, Ga. "We learned a lot about the Red Cross and what it does. Representatives from the NAIA also came and talked to us about character and having a good attitude whether you're on or off the field, and that was really informative.
"We got to go to the White House and Capitol Hill. We saw a lot of important people like (vice president) Joe Biden and Senator (John) Kerry."
Now in its fourth year, the Red Cross/NAIA Collegiate Leadership Program continues to inspire, motivate and create a new and diverse generation of Red Cross volunteers and leaders through exemplifying the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program. These core values are integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. As part of its support of Red Cross diversity initiatives, State Farm Insurance is a sponsor of this partnership.
During their time in Washington, D.C., the 2010-11 class - which included 10 women and five men - participated in a rare and unique opportunity to acquire first-hand coaching, mentoring and professional leadership training presented by senior leadership at the Red Cross, one of the nation's largest non-profit organizations. In addition, Rob Haworth, NAIA vice president for Champions of Character, met with the students during the two-week leadership academy.
Student-athletes also learned from civic and business leaders how to uncover their leadership potential off the field. Participants learned about organizing successful campus blood drives, actively participating on a leadership board, and taking part in diversity and cultural competency training. For their efforts, students receive scholarship support provided by the Red Cross and State Farm Insurance.
"Athletics play such an important role in creating a sense of community on college campuses," said Brian Hamil, Red Cross National Chair of Biomedical Services. "The partnership with the NAIA has created a rich opportunity to connect campus communities with the life-saving mission of the American Red Cross through the energy of NAIA student-athletes. We remain grateful for the continuing financial support of State Farm Insurance."
"I would like to thank the Red Cross and State Farm Insurance for providing a wonderful opportunity for NAIA student-athletes," said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. "This is the fourth year for the program and Brian Hamil and his team are not only great partners but tremendous advocates for character-driven intercollegiate athletics. The work being done on campuses throughout the country as a result of this program not only saves lives but has a huge impact on these young men and women."
The program is part of a larger Red Cross diversity strategy for moving the Red Cross from awareness to action, building Red Cross capacity to serve all Americans. The program is designed to inspire a new generation of Red Cross volunteers and leaders; promote diversity of Red Cross Blood Region boards of directors; champion a philanthropic cause; impact local communities; exemplify the core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program; provide training, coaching, mentoring and networking opportunities; and foster leadership opportunities.
In the program's four-year history, there has been a combined 65 percent increase in blood collections and a 47 percent increase in blood drives at participating colleges and universities, and over 4,900 first-time blood donors at Red Cross/NAIA program drives. With the 2010 class, 50 student-athletes have now participated in leadership development at Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C., and over 42 college and university communities have been impacted by the initiative.
"The whole experience really opened my eyes to what the Red Cross does," said Goodall. "I'm now required to hold a minimum of two blood drives. I also have a goal to start a Red Cross club on campus."
Besides Goodall, the 2010 class included student-athletes from Bethel College and Purdue University Calumet in Indiana; Houghton College in New York; Holy Names University, Menlo College and Point Loma Nazarene University in California; Peru State University in Nebraska; Baker University in Kansas; Fisher College in Massachusetts; Eastern Oregon University; Madonna University in Michigan; William Carey University in Mississippi; Oklahoma City University; and Westminster College in Utah. The sports represented were soccer, basketball, cheerleading, volleyball, baseball, cross country, wrestling, softball, and track and field.
Visit www.championsofcharacter.org/page/arc.php to learn more about the Red Cross/NAIA Collegiate Leadership Program.
Return to Previous Page