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February 28, 2020
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(BPRW) High school athletes gain workplace skills at FPL-sponsored leadership summit at local university

(Black PR Wire) South Florida -- Fall semester of college is right around the corner, and a local nonprofit organization is making sure student athletes are looking toward their future on and off the field.

Student ACES, a nonprofit based in Palm Beach County that serves all of South Florida, recently held a Captains Summit at St. Thomas University. The summits are a day-long event where high school students are mentored by leaders including university presidents and former professional athletes. The students learn leadership skills and also participate in team-building activities.

Buck Martinez, who cofounded the nonprofit with daughter Krissy Webb, said the summits are held at universities for a reason.

“You’re basically demonstrating to kids that the future might be here for them so this is a great opportunity for them to come and register at school and possibly be a future student at this university,” Martinez said. “We would welcome every university to host Captains Summits.”

With support and funding from Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), the nonprofit has been able to host several of these Captains Summits along with countless workshops at South Florida schools. The goal of all the events is to inspire and develop high school student athletes to become young men and women of character, honor and integrity.

“Investing in the development of high school students who can be outstanding future employees is part of our commitment to working with the communities we serve to help make them better places to live, work and raise a family,” said Pam Rauch, FPL’s vice president of external affairs and economic development.

At the Feb. 21 summit, the students learned from St. Thomas University President David Armstrong; Plantation-native Quadtrine Hill, who played football for the University of Miami and then professionally for a short time before reinventing himself as a professional boxer; and Charles Johnson, former Florida Marlins player and World Series champion. Two former Student ACES students, now studying at St. Thomas University, led the team-building exercises.

“I think it’s so awesome that you’re here because you took the first step toward leadership,” Armstrong told the students. “This university is about leadership. We educate leaders for life.”

Hill said looking back at his youth, he can think of peers who would have benefited from a similar mentorship.

“The Student ACES program is so important because a lot of the kids don’t have somebody they can use as a mentor, that can teach them the leadership skills, that can teach them the right way to act, the right way to behave, the right way to be a professional and be successful,” Hill said. “I love this program because this program is designed to teach them those leadership skills and those skills to success.”

For more information about Student ACES, visit www.studentacesforleadership.com.