North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Wrapping up the 2023 Student Leadership Conference


Wrapping up the 2023 Student Leadership Conference


The 2023 NCHSAA Student Leadership Conference "Life Beyond Sports" was an incredible event that brought together several student athletes from across the state of North Carolina. The conference was represented by over 40 NCHSAA member schools and 125 student athletes, all eager to learn from a variety of speakers on the topic of “Life Beyond Sports.”


The conference began with an inspiring opening speech from Mark Dreibelbis, who shared his personal experiences and emphasized the importance of leadership both on and off the field. Following the opening keynote, the student-athletes had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions with Omari Pearson and Janna Fonseca, who spoke about how to transition from being an athlete to a successful professional in various fields once athletics are over! 


The Marines were also represented at the conference with Staff Sergeant Katy A. Willis and Staff Sergeant Kaylyn R. Whitman providing valuable insights on how to develop leadership skills and succeed in any career path. 


The student panel featuring Jaylen Blakes, Piper Hampsch, Peyton St. George, and Natalie Jones was a major success in connecting young high school student athletes with peers from their age range. They provided a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities that student athletes face in their academic and athletic journeys. Jaylen and Piper represent that transition from high school to college, while Peyton and Natalie represent a transition into the work force post athletics. Thank you, Duke Athletics and NC State Athletics, for allowing us the opportunity to learn from your outstanding student-athletes.


The closing keynote speaker, Alan Hooker, delivered an empowering message on how to brand yourself during your athletic career. He left the student-athletes feeling motivated and inspired as they continue their athletic journey. Alan also stressed the importance of branding yourself in a positive manner during your athletic career, as this will impact your brand once you finished competing. 


Throughout the conference, the student athletes had the chance to engage with the speakers and each other, play games, and share ideas and insights that will undoubtedly benefit them both on and off the field. The student-athletes got to interact, make friends and grow relationships with many other individuals outside of their member school. 


It is important to note that the success of the conference would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the NCHSAA Student Athlete Advisory Council and the school administration that supported their student-athletes. Their commitment to the conference and the student athletes is truly commendable.


In conclusion, the 2023 NCHSAA Student Leadership Conference "Life Beyond Sports" was an incredible event that provided valuable insights and inspiration to student-athletes from across the state of North Carolina. The variety of speakers and topics covered ensured that every attendee walked away with something valuable, and the connections made between the students will undoubtedly continue to inspire and motivate them in the future.