“The ‘learn it alls’ are a lot better than the ‘know it alls’.” These are words of wisdom that Katie Meier, the head coach for the University of Miami’s women’s basketball team, imparted to a group of almost 200 future leaders at the 9th Annual Student Leadership Day. Her message: You have to figure out what you don’t know so that you can attack it and become awesome.
Sponsored by the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute, the event was first launched by the institute’s director, Dr. Lee Kaplan. In his opinion, it is the best day of the year at the University of Miami. A day that shows kids “how can you use your leadership to grow right now in your community,” he says.
These are important lessons for teenagers in today’s world. The U.S. Center for Disease Control released a study this month that reported that almost a third of teenagers said they had “experienced periods of persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” and more than 17 percent had seriously considered suicide.
The goal of the event is to give these youth the tools to strengthen their resolve in helping themselves and their communities. As Monica Reyes, an awareness mentor with Motivational Edge, told the students, “Leadership isn’t about winning, it’s about how you bounce back from adversity.”