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
|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|