Monthly meetings organized for athletes

Students from all sports teams attended a sponsored event to develop leadership skills.

Sports captains are often chosen for their athletic ability. Because of this, they go into their positions without valuable leadership experience or training.

In an effort to change this, 31 members of Diamond Bar High School’s athletics teams will be learning about what it means to be a leader through a program sponsored by Chick-Fil-A.

Athletic Director Albert Lim contacted a local Chick-Fil-A, whose owner had been in charge of the company’s Leader Academies at Walnut High School for three years.

“I wanted to teach some of our student athletes on how to become leaders and how to be leaders. Coaches select team captains and then expect them to know how to be leaders, and they often struggle because no one taught them how,” Lim explained.

Lim asked coaches to recommend athletes who they thought were dependable members of the school community.

Many attendees are multi-sport athletes or involved in a variety of programs across the school.

At the first meeting on Sept. 18, the students participated in two activities led by Lim as a part of a curriculum provided by Chick-Fil-A’s Leader Academy program.

In the first one, each athlete had the name of a leader taped on their back. They then paired up and played “20 Questions” to guess the leader’s name.

Many leaders were athletes such as Aly Raisman, an Olympic gymnast. After that, they discussed what made those individuals leaders in their communities.

“We talked about what our goals were, and what we want to do in the future. With these people… we were able to talk about our goals.” senior Jenna Wong, an attending athlete, said. “It [also] made me realize that this is something I want to do in the future. It made me more motivated to go after my biggest dreams.”

The athletes then worked on fashioning care packages for members of the military that included handwritten thank-you notes.

By inviting mostly underclassmen, Lim hopes that these students will use what they learn to continue impacting the Diamond Bar community in years to come. The group’s second meeting was held this morning.

“It’s made me realize that you need to take smaller steps to reach bigger goals. So, when they gave us gift cards to hand out to people who have positively influenced us, it was that small act of kindness that empowers us,” Wong said. “How we did the service project for the members of the military— It took us maybe 10 minutes as a group to do it, yet we’re helping 40 people.”