Six HBCU Student-Athletes Selected For USOC Leadership Program

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: June 6, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee has selected 32 minority student leaders from colleges and institutions across the country, including six from HBCUs, for the USOC’s Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere (F.L.A.M.E.) program.

The F.L.A.M.E. program will be held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 9-11, 2006. and is presented by Tyson Foods, Inc., an official sponsor of the United States Olympic Team and official supplier to the U.S. Olympic Training Centers.

For the first time, the program will focus on educating and developing youth at the college level, specifically, freshman and sophomore student leaders.

This new shift from mentoring high school students as done in years past is part of the program’s goal to provide career opportunities for minorities within the U.S. Olympic Movement.

“For more than a decade, the F.L.A.M.E. program has offered an opportunity for high school students to learn more about the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Ideals,” said USOC Chief Executive Officer Jim Scherr.

“By shifting the focus of the program to college-age students, our goal is to create a natural pathway for talented young people to become involved in the Olympic Movement either by the USOC’s internship program or other career and volunteer avenues.”

Participants in this year’s program represent 30 colleges and universities and hail from 20 states across the United States

The HBCU students represented were from Clark Atlanta University (Markeisha Cassidy Dawson, 18), Fisk University (Jeshua Rahming, 18), Fort Valley State University (Steven Jackson, 18), Florida A&M University (Jason Julien, 20), Morehouse College (Alexander Lakes, 19) and North Carolina Central University (Reginald Oziogu, 20).

With the support of title sponsor, Tyson, and associate sponsors Hilton Hotels Corporation and Visa, F.L.A.M.E. will focus on mentoring and grooming college students so that they can apply the principles of the Olympic Ideals and Values to all aspects of their lives.

Each of the 32 participants will travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., headquarters of the U.S. Olympic Movement and home to nearly 200 athletes in training. F.L.A.M.E. students will live among the athletes in training by residing in the dormitories and eating alongside U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls.

“Through our partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee and F.L.A.M.E., we are able to give well-deserving students this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look into what makes Olympians tick,” said Bob Corscadden, Tyson’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

“Through all of our community-oriented programs like F.L.A.M.E., we’re committed to supporting the goals and dreams of America’s future leaders, wherever their paths may lead.”

2006 F.L.A.M.E. Program Itinerary:

• The program includes presentations and one-on-one discussions with motivational speakers, April Holmes (Paralympian, athletics) and Derek Parra (three-time Olympian, speedskating), the first Hispanic-American to win gold in the Olympic Winter Games.

• Development workshops include a networking skills seminar hosted by Adecco, the Official Career Services Supplier of the U.S. Olympic Team.

• Diversity training presented by the University of Colorado (Colorado Springs) Diversity Task Force, and a special college survival session from Johnson & Wales University.

• 2005 World Champion and 2004 Olympian Howard Bach (badminton) will conduct an interactive session with the students to introduce them to the sport of badminton.