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U.S. Olympic Committee Celebrates 24th Anniversary Of FLAME Program

By United States Olympic Committee | July 21, 2017, 11 a.m. (ET)

The FLAME Program is an annual growth opportunity for students of color. Pictured here is the class of 2016.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the 27 student leaders from colleges and universities across the country who were selected to participate in the 24th annual FLAME (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) Program. The 2017 program will be held July 25-Aug. 1 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. Selected participants have 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 in the sports industry.

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 16 states from across the nation. During the eight-day program, FLAME participants will reside at the Colorado Springs 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 2017 speaker program is highlighted by several U.S. Olympians and Paralympians, including Olympic medalists Tommie Smith (track and field, 1968) and John Carlos (track and field, 1968); two-time Olympian Chris Coleman (bobsled, 1992, 1994); Rio 2016 Paralympic Games bronze medalist Amanda Dennis (goalball, 2012, 2016); and Paralympians John Register (track and field, 1996), Letticia Martinez (swimming, 2012, 2016) and Jermell Pennie (wheelchair basketball, 2004).

Additional speakers include Ashland Johnson, director of public education and research at The Human Rights Campaign; Erin Pellegrino, vice president of events and programming for the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality; and several leaders from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family.

The program will also feature Jason Collins, former NBA player (2001-14) and NBA Cares global ambassador as the USOC’s FLAME Invited Speaker, supported by Drs. Tej and Simran Singh.

Additional activities will include Paralympic sport demonstrations, a golf workshop organized by the PGA of America and an outing to a Colorado Springs Switchbacks game. 

FLAME Class of 2017

Name  College/University Hometown
Aboshioma Obemeata  Springfield College New Rochelle, New York
Adam Saunders Trinity University Pearland, Texas
Allyson Burr Washburn University Arkansas City, Kansas
Andres Brito University of Rhode Island Providence, Rhode Island
Candace Martin Alabama State University Memphis, Tennessee
Craig Malveaux University of Central Florida New Orleans, Louisiana
Destini Orr University of Central Florida Petersburg, Virginia
 Destiny Morton University of Houston Huntsville, Alabama
Gabriel Quintero Syracuse University Los Angeles, California
Gabriella Galassini  University of Wisconsin-Madison LaGrange, Illinois
Gabriella Scott University of Colorado Boulder San Diego, California
Isaiah Covington  Long Island University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jade McCrary  Florida A&M University South Daytona Beach, Florida
Jasmine Holmes-Settles  Hampton University Oxon HIll, Maryland
Jennifer Lamothe  University of Central Florida Cupertino, California
Jessica Barquero  University of South Florida Miami, Florida
Jonathan Chaves  Oklahoma State University Houston, Texas
Meneftha Pierre  Florida Atlantic University West Palm Beach, Florida
Miranda Rivera  Towson University East Meadow, New York
Patricia Chen  Wellesley College Natick, Massachusetts
Pelemarie Buika  Colorado College Wailuku, Hawaii
Phillip Butler Jr.  Prairie View A&M University Coffeyville, Kansas
Raquel Miranda  University of Central Florida Haines City, Florida
Sherrelle Jordan  Nova Southeastern University Chandler, Arizona
Steven Morris  Univeristy of Virginia-School of Law Atlanta, Georgia
Steven Payne  St. Thomas University Miami, Florida
Vanessa Chandler  Temple University Norristown, Pennsylvania