This past weekend, the NCHSAA had the incredible opportunity to attend the Student-Athletes United Summit put on by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) at Carowinds Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event was a dynamic gathering, bringing together around 200 CMS student-athletes for a day filled with inspiration, education, community service, and a splash of amusement park fun to close the day out.
Leadership in Action:
The event was spearheaded by Mia Kibelbek (Senior at Hough High School), the President of the CMS Student-Athlete Advisory Council and Marco Zamudio (Junior at Hough High School), the State Representative from Region 6 along with many other CMS Student-Athlete Advisory Council members. Their leadership set the tone for the day, combining enthusiasm, commitment, and a genuine passion for fostering the growth and development of student-athletes in the CMS community.
CMS Student-Athlete Advisory Council:
CMS stands out as a district in North Carolina to boast a Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). Comprising student-athletes from 23 CMS high schools, the council plays a crucial role in providing a platform for these young individuals to voice their opinions, engage in leadership activities, and contribute to the betterment of their school community.
Inspirational Insights from Diverse Speakers:
The event featured an impressive lineup of guest speakers who shared valuable insights on various aspects of life, both on and off the field. Love Speaks Out, represented by Denisr McKnight, Nickole Williams, and Christy Hammond, delivered a powerful message on the importance of cultivating healthy relationships with partners, teammates, family, and teachers/coaches.
Financial literacy took center stage as CMS student Lauren Kennedy spoke about the impact of saving money from a young age and how this impacts you as you move past high school.
Chad Dugan from Handshake America was able to provide the CMS student-athletes valuable information on scholarship opportunities for high school juniors through his platform application.
A standout moment of the event was the student-athlete panel, which featured 6 student-athletes from Johnson C. Smith University. The panel, skillfully hosted by former Marvin Ridge and NC State standout Wide Receiver Emeka Emezie, allowed the student-athletes to gain insights from their peers, creating a sense of camaraderie, shared experiences and expectations moving into the next chapter of their life.
Closing with Wisdom: Coach Kennedy Tinsley
Kennedy Tinsley, the head football coach at Mallard Creek and a former football standout at UNC Chapel Hill, served as the closing speaker. His words resonated with the young student-athletes as he emphasized the importance of leadership during your time in high school, preparation for the next stage of life, and an unwavering commitment to excellence for any task you take on in life.
Community Service with Heart: National Breast Cancer Foundation
The event concluded on a heartfelt note as the CMS SAAC group participated in a community service project for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. They packed 100 boxes filled with gloves, tumblers, tea, lotion, and much more for people battling Breast Cancer, demonstrating not only athletic prowess but also a commitment to making a positive impact in their community beyond the sports arena.
Gratitude for the Organizers
A very special thank you to Ericia Turner and Tamara Satterfield for extending the invitation us at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association to be a part of this remarkable event. Their efforts, along with the efforts of the CMS Student-Athlete Advisory Council in organizing such an impactful day at Carowinds did not go unnoticed, and the positive energy generated will undoubtedly resonate within the CMS community!
In conclusion, the CMS Student-Athlete Advisory Council’s event at Carowinds Park was a testament to the power of unity, leadership, and community service within the student-athlete community. It showcased not only the athletic prowess of these young individuals but also their dedication to personal growth, community engagement, and making a positive impact on the world around them. Thank you CMS student-athletes and keep up the great work in your community!!