University of Florida Gators Help Combs Magnet Elementary Gators

 Combs Magnet Elementary Principal Muriel Summers found that her school shared a lot in common with the University of Florida and its CAMP Gator Program. Both are leadership initiatives and the university and school share the GATOR as a mascot. Summers made connections with Dr. Matthew Ohlson to bring the CAMP Gator program to Combs this year.

Dr. Ohlson played basketball as an undergraduate at Brandeis University and recognized that, when he was on the court, he was not just learning how to shoot foul shots and dribble around defenders, but was also developing leadership skills and self-confidence that would be useful off the court as well. He often wondered why more courses and educational opportunities weren’t available that would teach student-athletes how to bring their on-court skills into play through their roles as community leaders. Later, as a University of Florida graduate student in educational leadership, he found that he and his classmates were getting exactly the type of education athletes needed: classes focusing on leadership, goal-setting and motivating others.

CAMP Gator introduces the field of education and service leadership to college students while addressing the academic and social needs of at-risk K-12 students. Student athletes are selected to take part in comprehensive educational leadership training and serve as leadership mentors to elementary and middle-school at-risk students.

Mentor Preston Wooten and Combs Magnet Elementary students discuss their connection with the Florida athletes. 

Click to listen to University of Florida Gators Help Combs Magnet Elementary Gators

This is a 6.5 minute mp3 file.

Combs students listen as University of Florida athletes share inspirational quotes and explain their meaning.

Dr. Ohlson, in the striped orange shirt, and his team of student athletes are sharing leadership concepts with students at Combs, the WCPSS leadership magnet school.

Click to find more information about Combs Magnet Elementary.