By United States Olympic Committee | May 27, 2015, 10:30 a.m. (ET)


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the 29 student leaders of color from colleges and universities across the country who were selected to participate in the 22nd annual FLAME (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) Program. The 2015 college program will be held May 27-June 3 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

FLAME is designed to inspire undergraduate and graduate students of color to pursue careers within the Olympic and Paralympic movements. Those chosen to participate have already demonstrated a pursuit of excellence within their own communities and will have the opportunity to further their personal and professional growth by connecting with U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes, USOC and National Governing Body leaders, and others who have achieved success.

The program provides students with an in-depth look at the Olympic and Paralympic movements and personal exploration of the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. The program also offers a pathway for talented youth to become further involved in the Olympic and Paralympic movements, either through the USOC’s internship program, or other sports-related career and volunteer opportunities.

Participants in this year’s program represent 15 states across the nation. During the eight-day program, FLAME participants will reside at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and spend time with U.S. Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls. The program will include professional development workshops, leadership seminars and networking sessions.

The 2015 speaker program is highlighted by several U.S. Olympians and Paralympians, including two-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor (bobsled; 2010, 2014); five-time Olympic medalist Teresa Edwards (basketball; 1984,1988, 1992, 1996, 2000); three-time Olympian Willie Banks (track and field; 1980, 1984, 1988); Paralympian Jennifer Chew (wheelchair basketball; 2012); John Register, U.S. Paralympics associate director of community and military programs and Paralympic silver medalist (track and field, 2000); and Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, USOC chief of organizational excellence and Olympic gold medalist (track and field, 1984). Additional speakers include Wade Davis, former NFL player and executive director of the You Can Play Project; Jorge Quezada, chief diversity officer of Kraft Foods Group; Lindsey Kagawa Colas, vice president of Olympic Action Sports; and several leaders from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family.

The program also will feature a keynote address from Sheila C. Johnson, co-founder of BET, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, and vice chairman and owner of Monumental Sports and Entertainment as the USOC FLAME Invited Speaker, supported by Drs. Tej and Simran Singh. 

Additional activities will include Olympic and Paralympic sport demonstrations, a Colorado Rapids game and tour of DICK’s Sporting Goods Park, a golf workshop organized by the PGA of America and a hike through Garden of the Gods.

FLAME Class of 2015

Name  College Hometown
Monet Samone Bland
Northeastern University
Boston, Massachusetts 
Katherine Gennelle Chatman
The University of Alabama  Orlando, Florida
Alec Gabriel Contag
Keck Graduate Institute
McLean, Virginia
Elisa Drummond
Temple University
Marlboro, Maryland
Meghan Lee-Anne Anelamailanimai Everett  
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Tatum, Texas
Mario Flores
Texas Tech University
Houston, Texas
Ashley Franklin
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis  
Indianapolis, Indiana
Jose Garcia
University of Texas of The Permian Basin
Dallas, Texas
Samantha Danielle Garcia 
University of Denver 
Thornton, Colorado
Agustin Alejandro Gonzales
Texas Tech University
Houston, Texas
Toddrick LeSean Gotcher
Texas Tech University
Garland, Texas
Laurelle Day Holley  Drexel University
Media, Pennsylvania
Elvin Jarrod James
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Bianca Jones 
University of Colorado Boulder
Aurora, Colorado
Kathryn Mary LaRosa
Virginia Commonwealth University
Culpeper, Virginia
Rishawn Marshall 
Georgia State University 
Queens, New York
Danielle Heceta McArdle
University of Central Florida
Wheeling, West Virginia
Bryan Munoz
Northeastern University
Teaneck, New Jersey
José Luis Muñoz Jr.
University of Kansas 
Rio Rico, Arizona
Wura Olusekun
University of Connecticut
Revere, Massachusetts
Gabrielle Pringle
University of Montevallo
Brent, Alabama
Summer Roberson
Rice University
Houston, Texas
Denisha Robinson
Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Christian Tovar-Vargas
Trinity University 
San Antonio, Texas
Francesca Turner
Georgia State University 
Lithonia, Georgia
Julian Turner
Trinity University
Katy, Texas
Xiaohan Wen
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Beijing, China
Jasmine Yvonne Wilkins
Nova Southeastern University
Miami, Florida
Gervon Dwayne Williams
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania