Laureus USA's Sport for Good Cities Emerging Leaders Program, sponsored by Athletic Brewing, is designed to identify, and support the next generation of diverse leaders in the sports-based youth development (SBYD) sector. Now in its second year, the Emerging Leaders Program promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion by equipping early to mid-career, passionate professionals with the tools they need to stay and thrive in our sector, ultimately ensuring young people continue to experience the transformative power of sport.
“In working alongside and listening to our Sport for Good network, we noticed a lack of intentional, targeted professional development opportunities within sports-based youth development and within the sport for development sector overall,” explained Peter Feldman, Director of Programs for Laureus USA. “There continues to be a large pool of diverse, passionate, and talented individuals working in this space, but many don’t receive the necessary training or aren’t provided with the right opportunities to stay in SBYD and grow into higher leadership positions. The Emerging Leaders Program recognizes this challenge as an opportunity and provides a platform to build professional capacities, ultimately equipping participants for further leadership positions and strengthening the overall sector for our youth and communities.
Selected participants go through a 20-hour, 10-week professional development cohort program that focuses on areas such as management and strategy, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, fundraising, sustainability, and additional topics based on participants needs. Laureus USA launched Emerging Leaders as a pilot program in 2022, and thanks to support from Athletic Brewing and based on the overwhelming positive feedback from our network, a second cohort was formed this year.
“After learning about the work Laureus is doing, I was eager to support their mission of educating the next generation of diverse youth sports leaders,” said Mike Shipp, DEI & Impact Manager at Athletic Brewing Company. “The Good Cities Emerging Leaders Program is entering its second year, and we’re excited to sponsor the 2023 cohort and invest in their professional development as they grow as leaders in sport and beyond.”
The second cohort builds upon the success of our initial group. Looking back on our 2022 cohort 96% of participants reported that the program helped deepen their understanding of what it means to be a leader. They represented a diverse cross-section of the youth sports world – 90% identified as BIPOC, 30% were Laureus USA Sport for Good City alumni, and 100% came with direct service experience.
This year’s cohort includes 25 professionals from across the country who are committed to using sport as a tool for positive youth development. For a full list of participants, please visit our website.
Recently, Mason Gravley, host of Athletic Brewing's podcast, Without Compromise, sat down with Peter Feldman and a member of the 2023 cohort, Danielle Lugo, to learn more about the Emerging Leaders program and its impact firsthand. Be sure to check out that full episode here.
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