Life Skills Launches N-volved, A New Leadership Group
The Nebraska Life Skills Department launched a new leadership group for student-athletes this year called N-volved.
The group is a discussion-based social climate leadership group, which provides student-athletes a safe space to discuss and explore current events and have difficult conversations. The group focuses on developing meaningful relationships that enhance understanding, connectedness and personal growth. Through campus and community collaboration, student-athletes are educated on topics such as diversity and inclusion, healthy relationships, politics, human rights and much more.
N-volved focuses on using the student-athlete platform to be a voice and an ear to peers, both on and off campus. The group believes it is student-athlete's responsibility as leaders to respect everyone and aims to give a voice to the voiceless, inform the uninformed and to “spark more than conversation.”
"After the Diversity and Inclusion Summit last year, we realized that the student-athletes were in need of a safe place to have difficult conversations and create meaningful connections with their peers," facilitator and Assistant Director of Life Skills Sammi Cowger said. "This group was created to provide them with not only a place to share their stories and learn about others, it allows them to become educated on various topics and expand their perspectives."
The inaugural leadership team consists of Zac Luckey (baseball), Zach Peters (men's gymnastics), Mayte Corral (women's soccer), Kaitlynn Johnson (women's cross country/track and field), Noor Ahmed (women's golf).
"When the incident that took place last year regarding a student at UNL using hate speech towards other races, it immediately struck a cord in me," Corral said. "When speaking about this with my teammates, a few of us wanted to make an impact - to stand up for ourselves, for our peers and for the reputation of UNL. We went to hearings and rallies to show our support, but I did not feel like that was enough. I had a fellow teammate recommend N-volved to me, and when I heard what the group was about, I knew I wanted to join. This group is important because it allows student-athletes to get involved in the community by using our platform and voices to stand up for what we believe in. It also expands our horizons on social issues, so we can learn more and understand both sides of the story. We want to create a safe environment for all student-athletes to let them know they are not alone and should not be afraid to share their stories and experiences."
Team ambassadors are listed below.
Baseball: Zac Luckey
Men’s Basketball: Isaiah Roby
Bowling: Allison Morris
Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field: Kaitlynn Johnson, Shylia Riley
Football: Freedom Akinmoladun, Mo Barry, Tanner Farmer, Damion Daniels
Women’s Golf: Kate Smith, Noor Ahmed
Men’s Gymnastics: Zach Peters
Women’s Gymnastics: Kelli Chung
Rifle: Emily Cheramie
Soccer: Lauren Smith, Mayte Corral
Softball: Brianna Cassidy, Ally Riley
Swim and Dive: Shea Bougie, Jackie Jeschke
Women’s Tennis: Paula Del Cueto Castillo
Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field: Darrius Gaw
Volleyball: Jazz Sweet
Wrestling: Kyle Ruettiger, Zemua Baptista