February 08, 2022
Under Armour Student Athlete Leadership Council Empowers, Motivates, and Guides Students
How does one define bravery, honesty, and integrity? How do students see it in their everyday lives - on the playing field or in the classroom? What positive character traits do students recognize in themselves? How can they use those traits to make positive change, to grow, and to lead?
Every month, 60 male and female student athletes from all City Schools high schools meet to explore these questions and reach a common goal: become the leaders, athletes, and people they want to be.
The Under Armour Student Athlete Leadership Council meets at UA House in downtown Baltimore to examine crucial components of leadership, individual growth, teamwork, and how they relate to the world around them. Through group discussions, mentorship, challenges, and engaging activities, students work together to better understand and use social intelligence, moral and physical bravery, integrity, honesty, and mental health.
From fun games like “Integrity Dodgeball” to explorations of strong character traits and reflections on athletic experiences at their schools, students’ voices are elevated and their growth is empowered. The Council regularly welcomes mentors that include professional athletes, college athletes, sports psychologists and local entrepreneurs to provide guidance, advice, and inspiration.
Hundreds of City Schools student athletes have been part of the program since it was created in 2018. Henry Bethell, a Student Athlete Leadership Council alumni and Baltimore City College 2019 graduate attested to the Council’s success. “The program empowered me to look at the intersection of sports and politics. Putting students from across the city together and uniting them around a shared interest like athletics really demonstrates the community-building power of sports.”
Henry drew on his experience in the Council to push for change in college at Sarah Lawrence College where he played D3 soccer.
“Being handed this responsibility helped me when I was targeted with homophobic abuse from opposing players. I was able to use the leadership and advocacy skills I learned in the Student Athlete Council to start initiatives to protect queer athletes within my conference and on a national level. I rewrote our conference's sportsmanship statement to include LGBTQ+ discrimination and abuse, and advocated for trans inclusion on the national level by speaking directly with the president of the NCAA. None of that would've been possible without help from the Under Armour Student Athlete Leadership Council.”
The impact of participating in sports is significant; City Schools students who participate in school sports are more likely to graduate than those who do not. An analysis of the Baltimore City Public Schools class of 2019 showed that 98% of those who completed four years of high school sports successfully graduated. The council elevates that impact through collaboration and meaningful engagement.
The Council is managed by the Fund for Educational Excellence and is part of Under Armour’s robust partnership with and support of City Schools. Dubbed Project Rampart, Under Armour’s commitment has included uniform donations, facility upgrades, coaching guidance, and academic support by helping provide athletics academics coaches at schools.
To learn more about Under Armour’s Project Rampart, visit https://impact.underarmour.com/projects/project-rampart/