The VOLeaders Academy—a dynamic partnership between UT’s Division of Student Life; the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences; and the Department of Athletics — was developed to cultivate positive student-athlete leaders through sport to create positive social change.
By using their platform in sport, student-athletes admitted into the VOLeaders Academy learn how to be a positive force for their team, campus, and local and global communities. The program aims to inspire student-athletes to find ways to use their influence and passion for sport to enact change that transcends their athletic success.
The VOLeaders Academy uses the frameworks of servant leadership, transformational leadership, emotionally intelligent leadership and strengths-based leadership to develop each student-athlete into a committed and effective leader. The academy engages students in experiential and service-learning activities, both locally and abroad, that provide them with unique opportunities to learn, lead, and empower under served populations through sport.
This yearlong collaborative program has four core components:
• Leadership Retreat. Full-day off-campus retreat focused on individual and group development.
• Leadership in Sport Course. A three-hour course focusing on the art of self-leadership, provided in the fall semester.
• Personal & Socially Responsible Leadership. A three-hour service-learning course teaching leadership principles, professionalism, critical thinking, and cross-cultural communication skills through sport-based service.
• Service Immersion Experience. A ten-day cultural exchange providing applied leadership and service opportunities focused on community development and social change through sport. Destinations will vary each year. Past locations have included: Brazil, site of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games; 2017 – Vietnam; 2018 – Ecuador; and in 2019 – Rwanda.
CLICK HERE for additional information about the VOLeaders Academy.