On Saturday, February 9th, STEER for Student Athletes hosted a Social Media Awareness Workshop at Palisade Preparatory School. This program-wide workshop brought together STEER student-athletes from five schools and five different grade levels to learn about social media competencies that will help them to better present themselves skills as student-athletes.
The workshop began with a group activity that allowed the student-athletes to reflect on their current social media habits. Some of the topics discussed among the groups included favorite social media platforms, why and how much time they spend online, and the positive and negative effects of social media.
Following this activity, Billy McBride, Assistant Athletic Director and Diversity Inclusion Director at Amherst College, spoke to the student-athletes about his sports career and the role that social media plays today in the college recruiting process. McBride emphasized the importance of being a “wholistic” student-athlete and urged the students to think about their interests and career goals outside of their sport. Angel Leon, a sophomore baseball player at Careers in Sports High School said, “A best practice I learned from Billy McBride is to think before I post. As he stated, once you post something online it is there forever. If I post without thinking it might seriously harm me in the long run.”
The second featured speaker was Eduardo Gonzalez, CEO and founder of the social media brand Classysavant LLC. Gonzalez spoke about his experiences growing up in Port Chester, and how he became a social media entrepreneur based on his hobbies and interests. Throughout his presentation, Gonzalez repeatedly asked the student-athletes, “Who is on your team?” Gonzalez emphasized the importance of networking and building support networks around you, assuring our student-athletes that asking for help is okay and can create countless opportunities.
The workshop ended with lunch and allowed the student-athletes to approach both McBride and Gonzalez to connect and ask questions about their personal goals. Carolina Juarez, a freshman swimmer at Palisade Preparatory High, says “I now know that social media acts like another resume so I should be proud of everything I post.” The STEER student-athletes left the workshop feeling prepared and motivated to showcase their best selves online.