The first-ever Student Athlete Leadership Summit will be held Friday, May 15, at the Toledo Board of Education.

Eight student athletes from each of the district's six comprehensive high schools will participate in the inaugural summit being coordinated by Michael Johnson, athletic director at Start High School, and Jenai Hicklin, director at FCA Urban Ministry.

“The main goal is to get our student athletes to take on a leadership role,” Mr. Johnson said. “The idea is to help them develop into leaders not only on the field but in the classroom and the community.”

The day will be divided into sessions that cover diverse topics including academic requirements for athletes in high school and beyond; time management strategies; appropriate use of social media, and domestic violence and self-identity in sports.

After a brief breakfast, the student athletes will participate in different activities as well as hear the informative presentations. A female and male athlete from each grade at each high school (chosen by their athletic directors) will be attending the summit.

“What’s great about this event is the fact that there’s so much community involvement,” Mr. Johnson noted. “We’ve got representatives from across the board to provide a depth of perspectives.”

Makonnen Rice, a Woodward High graduate and former football standout, will discuss ways to manage adversities on the field and in life. Ward Ensign, a counselor at Scott High, will inform students about the academic requirements and expectations at the next level of competition.

After a break for a catered lunch, the student athletes will have time to reflect and discuss what leadership looks like to them before participating in a breakout session on domestic violence.

Retired NFL player Bryan Robinson and fellow Woodward High alum Keary Sarabia have offered a generous donation to help offset the cost of the summit. They represent their organization, T.A.C.K.L.E. Toledo (Teach Aspire Critical Knowledge Learning Empowerment), and count themselves among the TPS Proud.

“This is a great opportunity to get together outside of competition,” Mr. Johnson said. “Too often we only see each other on the field but this gives us a chance to get together and promote strength of character across all of TPS.”

Posted on May 8, 2015