Athletes pay it forward through SALT membership
Ten Palm Beach State College student-athletes are making a difference this year, not just among their teammates but in the local community.
These individuals were handpicked by their coaches to join the Student Athletic Leadership Team, commonly referred to as “SALT.”
Through the membership, athletes learn leadership and life skills through monthly workshops to enhance their capacity to not only lead themselves but transcend those skills to others in their sphere of influence.
Workshop topics include: intrapersonal leadership, dealing with adversity, decision making and how that affects individuals’ sphere of influence, teamwork, effective communication, unity and commitment and servant leadership.
“These workshops have been a great tool for me to learn how to communicate better since I’m the one who has to communicate the most during a game as the catcher,” said freshman softball player Audrey Forbes. “You need to learn not only how to explain yourself but when you should take control of a situation when it’s getting out of hand. Without this, you will just end up having chaos.”
The team also plans one major and many other smaller community service projects throughout each year, where SALT members and their teammates outside of the group participate.
The 2015-16 major project was called “Pie it Forward,” which was part of an initiative for seniors with the Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches. The group collected $1,000 that was used over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to distribute pies to those in need.
While SALT members are known for their leadership skills and community service, many are also state scholars. In 2014, one of the group’s members, Samantha Evans, was the Female Scholar Athlete of the Year in Florida. Last year, another SALT member, Miah Shephard, was named the Women’s Basketball State Scholar Athlete of the Year. The group has also produced seven National Junior College Athletic Association Academic Award winners.
“SALT is not just designed to grow leadership capabilities here and in the community, it also gives student-athletes a forum to discuss the issues or pressures of being on a PBSC athletic team and allows them to express their needs to coaches or administrators through a third party,” said David Holstein, director of athletics. “This in turn makes these students better leaders by promoting communication, education and accountability.”
The SALT team began at Palm Beach State in 2013. Since that time, the group has either organized, directed and/or participated in more than 25 community service projects, generated 1,500 community service hours and raised $3,000 for the needy in Palm Beach County.