"Empowering young women is a passion of mine and the team in the Office of Student-Athlete Success is equally as passionate about investing in our female student-athletes," Alison Nail, Career Development Coordinator shares about the development of the first all-female student-athlete group at the University of Arkansas.
Monday, October 14th, the women of the Office of Student-Athlete Success and the female student-athletes met for the second time this semester to participate in open, non-judgmental conversations about what it means to be an empowered individual, make smart decisions as well as supporting one another during challenging times and celebrating in successes.
On Monday, November 18th, the group discussed what types of symbols each person could use to identify with which would represent what might be most important and impactful in their lives. The group discovered that not only were there many similarities among the different sporting teams, but also many unique traits. Additionally, several female student-athlete leaders co-facilitated small groups among their peers.
Julia Banach, Junior Swimmer, said, "I’ve really enjoyed our all-female events. I spend a lot of time with my fellow teammates and it’s nice to get to know other female student-athletes from other sports. Before these events, I was a little shy about speaking to other female student-athletes I didn’t know; but now I feel more comfortable and have formed new friendships outside of my sport."
"I absolutely LOVE participating in the female student programming (as a facilitator). It allows me to interact with our students in a more comfortable setting. Letting them know we (as staff) are their family and we are genuinely there to support them. This is also an opportunity to expose and address deeper issues that may limit our ladies from reaching their full potential," stated Tamesha Greenlee, Assistant Director of Academics for Men’s Track, Soccer and Gymnastics.
The students also voted on themes of discussion as well as a name for the group: "S3T" which stands for "Stand Strong, Stand Together". "S3T" now meets on a monthly basis with icebreakers, small group breakout sessions and large group discussions regarding topics such as: improving self-esteem, time management, effective communication, forming bonds, and healthy decision making. Additionally, there has been a combined total of over 190 female student-athletes who have participated and making a positive difference in "S3T".
Eric Wood, Associate Athletic Director of Student-Athlete Services shares his excitement about "S3T", "I’m so encouraged by the "all hands on deck" approach our team has taken to empowering our female student-athletes by addressing issues specific to them at this critical juncture in their personal development. This program will not only positively impact their time spent here as a Razorback, but for the rest of their lives and we feel humbled to have played a part in that."