The initiative is now in its fourth year, and will inspire, motivate and create a new and diverse generation of American Red Cross volunteers and leaders through exemplifying the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program. Presler is a sophomore from Rice, Minn. The other 2010-11 Red Cross/NAIA Collegiate Leadership Program participants are: Joe Fitch (Central Christian College, Kan.); Jessica Lea (Eastern Oregon University); Amber Rafko (Madonna University, Mich.); Hanna Malak (Menlo College, Calif.); Jacob Fox (Oklahoma City University); Rebecca Colling (Peru State University, Neb.); Alexandria Starr (Purdue University Calumet, Ind.); Olivia Goodall (Reinhardt College, Ga.); Lark Nightengale (William Carey University, Miss.); Steve Clark (Fisher College, Mass.); Jonathan Rogers (Bethel College, Ind.); Patrick Turner (Holy Names University, Calif.).
As part of its support of the Red Cross diversity initiatives, State Farm Insurance is sponsoring this partnership. The leadership program kicks off with two weeks of energetic training at the Red Cross National Headquarters located in Washington, D.C., on June 7-18. The incoming class will participate in a rare opportunity to acquire first-hand coaching, mentoring and professional leadership training presented by one of the nation’s largest non-profit organizations’ senior leaders. In addition, Dr. Rob Haworth, NAIA Vice President for Champions of Character, will hold character workshops during the two-week leadership academy.
"Athletics plays such an important role in creating a sense of community on college campuses. The partnership with the NAIA has created a rich opportunity to connect campus communities with the life-saving mission of the Red Cross through the energy of NAIA student-athletes,” said Brian Hamil, Red Cross National Chair Biomedical Services. “As we enter our fourth year of the program, we remain grateful for the continuing financial support of State Farm Insurance."
”Student-athletes selected for the Red Cross/NAIA Collegiate Leadership Program will gain valuable skill sets tailored for students who wish to become more in tune with their leadership potential and cultivate a better understanding of the Red Cross and the NAIA,” said Haworth. “We are extremely pleased with our partnership with the Red Cross and State Farm Insurance. Not only is this a wonderful opportunity to develop young leaders but it will also broaden student horizons.”
This once-in-a-lifetime experience allows NAIA student-athletes to be a part of a team made up of young adults from NAIA campuses throughout the country. 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.
Student-athletes will learn from civic and business leaders how to uncover their leadership potential off the field. The participants will organize successful campus blood drives, actively participate on a leadership board, and take part in diversity and cultural competency training. For their efforts, students will receive scholarship support provided by the Red Cross and State Farm Insurance.