Women's Basketball - Fri, Jun. 6, 2008
Kansas City, Mo. - Senior Jackie Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hannibal-LaGrange), a senior forward on the 2007-08 Saint Xavier University women's basketball team, was one of just 12 student-athletes selected to represent the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in a partnership with the American Red Cross. The 2008-09 Red Cross/NAIA Youth Leadership Program is now in its second year and will inspire, motivate and create a new and diverse generation of Red Cross volunteers and leaders through exemplifying the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program.

As part of its support of the Red Cross diversity initiatives, State Farm Insurance is sponsoring this partnership. The leadership program kicks off with two weeks of energetic training at Red Cross National Headquarters located in Washington, D.C. from June 9 to June 20. The 2008-2009 class will participate in a rare and unique opportunity to acquire first-hand coaching, mentoring and professional leadership training presented by senior leadership at the Red Cross, one of the nation's largest non-profit organizations. In addition, Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO, will meet with the students on June 16, and attend the Champions of Character training sessions, which will be hosted by NAIA special presenter Bruce Brown. "The NAIA would like to thank the American Red Cross and State Farm Insurance for supporting a tremendous program and offering this opportunity to our student-athletes," said Carr. "The Red Cross/NAIA Youth Leadership Program is a wonderful extension of the Champions of Character program and is designed to develop leaders in and out of competition."

This once-in-a-lifetime experience allows NAIA student-athletes to be part of a team made up of young adults from NAIA campuses throughout the country. The program is part of the larger Red Cross diversity strategy for moving the American Red Cross from awareness to action, building Red Cross capacity to serve all Americans. Student-athletes will learn from civic and business leaders in the field how to uncover their leadership potential off the field. The participants will learn about organizing successful campus blood drives, actively participate on a leadership board, and take part in diversity and cultural competency training. For their efforts, students will receive scholarship support provided by the American Red Cross and State Farm Insurance.

The remaining Red Cross/NAIA Youth Leadership Program participants are: Ellen Elyse Gildernew (Montreat College, N.C.); Cameron Branock (Bethel College, Ind.); Gene Hartman (Oklahoma Wesleyan University); Megan Brown (Columbia College, S.C.); Lisa Skrypnik (Houghton College, N.Y.); Cindy Trent (Southern Virginia University); Amanda Wiley (University of Saint Francis, Ind.); Ethan Gentry (Vanguard University, Calif.); Vashun Wilkins (Martin Methodist College, Tenn.); Katie Rice (Rogers State University, Okla.); and Katie Filiatreau (Georgetown College, Ky.).

To learn more about the Red Cross/NAIA Youth Leadership Program, please contact Staci Schottman, NAIA, at sschottman@naia.org or Susan Nelson, American Red Cross Biomedical Services, at nelsons@usa.redcross.org.

To see the NAIA release on the Red Cross/NAIA Youth Leadership program, click here