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High-schoolers Become True Captains at Student Athlete Leadership Academy

PITTSBURGH, July 9, 2012 – UPMC Sports Medicine is sponsoring the eighth-annual Student Athlete Leadership Academy (SALA) to be held 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3 at Robert Morris University. The event allows more than 200 of the area’s high school student-athletes to interact with community leaders who have found success in various professions.
The participating student-athletes were chosen by their athletic directors and coaches as stand-outs not only because they are sports leaders, but school and community leaders as well.  The goal of SALA is to bring together these student-athletes and help them to learn the importance of being strong leaders via workshops teaching them how to empower their peers, create positive cultures throughout their high schools, and succeed in sports and life.
“This Academy is where we can teach student-athletes how to become the leaders that their team, school and community expects them to be,” said Aimee Kimball, Ph.D., SALA co-coordinator and director of mental training for UPMC Sports Medicine.  “Leadership training events such as SALA allow young adults to learn skills that help them to get the most from themselves and others around them. Events like this also are important because they demonstrate the educational value of scholastic sports.”
The Keynote speaker this year is a leader who successfully transitioned from the military to the private sector: retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. David Heebner, who after 33 years in the Army moved on to become the Executive Vice President of General Dynamics Combat Systems. He will kick off the event talking about the importance of leadership in all facets of life.
Other workshop leaders will include:
• Ian Rosenberger, former “Survivor” contender and TV host, current CEO of Thread International
• Jack Ouellette, president and CEO of American Textile Company, former Army Ranger and captain of the West Point gymnastics team
• Jim Ryan, Financial Services Manager, Prudential Financial, former Penn State athlete
• Tom Baker, Founder of Baker Leadership and President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Speakers Association
The Student Leadership Academy is endorsed by the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.  The initiative is coordinated by Dr. Kimball and Dan Cardone, athletic director of North Hills High School.  For more details about SALA, please contact Dr. Kimball at (412) 432-3777 or e-mail

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