ECC Hosts Fourth Successful Experience in Community and Character Leadership Workshop
Central Islip, N.Y. – On February 10 and 11, the East Coast Conference held the fourth Experience in Community and Character leadership workshop. Over 50 East Coast Conference student-athletes, as well as a contingent of student-athletes and administrators from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, gathered at the conference headquarters located on the NYIT Central Islip campus to take part in the program.
“We had another great ECC Leadership Weekend,” said ECC Commissioner, Dr. Robert Dranoff. “We had outstanding student-athletes participating and excellent programs and presenters that really had an impact.”
The weekend kicked-off with a session named What Do You Value? A value exploration was done to identify the student athlete’s top core values. The student-athletes also received surprise feedback from their coaches, as they assessed what they believed their student-athletes valued.
In a new addition to the leadership program, a trip to Sherwood Elementary School in Islip, N.Y., was up next. At the school, the student-athletes spoke to fourth and fifth graders about bullying. “We had a chance to change a few things this year,” said Dranoff. “We made a visit to Sherwood Elementary School in Islip to present our program: ECC Teams Up Against Bullying. Our student-athletes all took part in a group presentation in seven different classrooms, aimed at helping kids understand what empathy is, what bullying feels like and how they can work together to do something about bullying when they see it.”
After returning from the elementary school, the student-athletes were led through a DiSC assessment by ECC Assistant Commissioner, Melissa Perry. DiSC is a behavioral analysis that helps one determine their leadership style.
The two-day programming was not just focused on leadership, but spanned a variety of character building topics that would help student-athletes prepare for the future. Dr. Mitch Abrams, considered the preeminent expert in the United States on issues of anger and athletes, was the first guest speaker to engage the student-athletes.
Dranoff noted that Abrams had an important message for the student athletes. “We had a great session with Dr. Mitch Abrams, as an authority on anger and athletes, he touch on that topic as well as understanding more about indentifying emotional issues that impact college student-athletes and their success academically and athletically.”
Saturday morning began with former student-athletes from conference institutions stopping to discuss their careers and the transition from college to the professional world. Patrick Cunnigham (Dowling, men’s soccer), Brianna Falese (Dowling, women’s soccer and lacrosse), Colleen Agostinacchio Guarneiri (C.W. Post, women’s lacrosse), Katie Hoffman (NYIT, volleyball), Chris Jacobi (Adelphi, men’s lacrosse), and Sarah Koumou (Queens, softball) volunteered time to share their experiences.
The student-athletes saw two other presentations on Saturday as
well, including learning how to sell themselves and set the
framework to begin a million dollar business from John Dano and Ben
Arcuri. A thought provoking diversity program followed with Dr.
Nancy Kaplan and Lamar Lee from the National Consortium for
Academics and Sports (NCAS).
The event culminated with a Valentine’s Day Carnival for local youth. Over 70 families showed up for the event which featured carnival games run by the student-athletes, valentine craft stations, and dinner.
“Once again, we want to thank Melanie Holz and her staff from the South Shore Youth Organization from Suffolk County for helping us organize this event and getting the word out to community families,” stated Dranoff. “ We had excellent participation in this fun and important community engagement activity.”
Dranoff continued, “The Carnival serves as our way to end up the leadership program for our student-athlete representatives. I am always so pleased to watch as student-athletes interact with the young people who attend the event and each other. It has an impact on everyone involved and it’s always great to give back to the community"
The ECC Experience in Community and Character is another way to enrich the student-athlete experience and bring together the expanding East Coast Conference community with University of the District of Columbia participating for the first time. “We were very excited to have representatives from UDC with us for the first time. We hope they had fun and learned a lot,” said Dranoff.
The event also helped bring together the ECC together with another conference from the East Region, the CACC. “We are also proud to have had folks from fellow regional conference, the CACC, with us to observe the program. Associate Commissioner Stacy Kelly and Chestnut Hill Assistant AD Nikki Lockhart, as well as student-athlete representatives, got a chance to see what we feel continues to be an outstanding leadership program,” Dranoff went on to say.
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