Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate track & field student-athlete Kennedy Holton was one of 200 student-athletes to be selected and participate in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum last month at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Career in Sports Forum, an annual educational forum hosted by the NCAA, brings together student-athletes to learn and explore potential careers in sports, with the primary focus on college athletics. The four-day forum is designed to assist student-athletes in charting their career paths, as well as provide an opportunity to network and learn from current athletics professionals.
"This was an opportunity of a lifetime," said Holton. "I was so blessed to be selected to attend the 2018 Career in Sports Forum held at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. I got a chance to connect and network with NCAA employees, coaches, administrators and student-athletes just like myself. It was amazing how we all wanted to help one another. Everyone wanted to see everyone succeed."
Participants who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in sports, and who were viewed as leaders on their campus, were invited to apply to attend the forum after a nomination by athletics administrators at their respective schools. Many current and past attendees are members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the student-athlete voice within the NCAA governance structure. The selection committee is comprised of administrators and coaches within the NCAA, many former forum participants themselves.
The cutting-edge topics covered by industry experts included: how personal values intersect with career opportunities, how behavioral styles impact individual effectiveness, the key professional and career development information to assist with transition from a student-athlete to a professional, and the role of the college coach or athletics administrator. Participants networked with peers, as well as key decision-makers at the campus, conference and national level of collegiate athletics.
"I learned that in order to find your authentic self, you must take on and develop the four P's: Passion, Purpose, Plan and Pursue," Holton added. "My biggest takeaway is to not focus on the past or the future but the present. Live in the moment."
Holton wrapped up her USC Upstate career this past season qualifying for the NCAA East Preliminaries in the 100-meter hurdles after setting a school record time of 13.54. At the NCAA East Preliminaries, Holton finished in 44th place with a time of 13.74, which is the second-fastest time in school history behind her school record. She was a Second Team All-Conference performer in the 100-meter hurdles and Third Team All-Conference in the 4x100-meter relay.
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