Student athletes attend Servant Leader Summit

They’re used to competing on the field or on the court, wearing different uniforms and different colors to represent their school teams. But for one day, they all wore the same jerseys.

At the third annual Servant Leader Summit, hundreds of high school student athletes and community leaders donned the same black long-sleeved shirt. The front had the words “Beyond the Game” and the back had the word “Hope” and the phrase, “On purpose, for a purpose.”

“Your coaches see something in you,” Executive Director of Athletics Stan Laing told the group in his opening remarks. “They see you as influencers, someone on your campus that can instill the idea of being servant leaders.”

Superintendent Brian T. Woods echoed those sentiments. “We will count on you in the years to come to be a leader in this community.”

Approximately 30 to 40 athletes attended from each high school, along with more than 40 district and community leaders who served as facilitators to guide conversations. The day-long event included guest speakers and activities that helped student athletes forge new relationships with each other, to consider the impact they can have as leaders, and to grow in the roles they play in their respective programs, campuses, and communities.

Eight male and female student athletes sitting at table on the floor of the Sports Gym

Jay High School soccer player Jonathan Gonzlaes enjoyed the opportunity to interact with athletes from different sports and different schools.

“It’s amazing to be part of the Summit today, to learn and be able to take it back to my school and my team,” Gonzlaes said. “We’re all here for the same thing, the same goal.”

Community leader William Raba leads discussion among students at table

Community leader William Raba facilitates discussion among the student athletes at his table.

Stephen Mackey, a character development coach and motivational speaker whose 2Words Character Development program was brought to all high school student athletes last year, encouraged students to spend their time, energy, and resources with intention.

“We want to equip you, invite you, and inspire you to live on purpose, for a purpose. The purpose of your influence is to use it for those who have none.”

2 female students engaged in 'finger-jousting' competition

The event included friendly competition with social media challenges and 'finger-jousting.' 

Warren High School track athlete Kylar Brown was inspired by keynote speaker Carey Casey, the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, who told students to be bigger than themselves.

“It made me realize I’m capable of so much more than I’m doing now and I can influence others,” Brown said.

Three adults standing on floor of Sports Gym, posing for photo

Keynote speaker Carey Casey with Superintendent Dr. Brian Woods and Athletic Director Stan Laing.

Visit the Northside Facebook page for an album of pictures from the Servant Leader Summit.