Student-Athletes Team Up with Boys and Girls Club

MANHATTAN, Kan. On June 22, over 25 Kansas State student-athletes will participate in a “Field Day” with the Manhattan Boys and Girls Club in the Brandeberry Indoor Facility as part of the “Introduction to Leadership Concepts” course.


Kansas State University’s Leadership Studies Minor is based on the belief that leadership can be taught and learned. The eighteen-hour minor is interdisciplinary and is open to students in every major. “Introduction to Leadership Concepts” is the first course in the minor and is organized to provide students with a broad overview of leadership theories, an introduction to ethical decision making, examination of personal leadership styles, group process theory, leadership skills such as motivation and conflict resolution, and current societal issues for leaders. It is aimed at helping students understand leadership and explore their interest in this area.


In order to accommodate students who are not able to enroll in this course during the school year, this course has been offered during the summer for the past six years. A number of students enrolled in the class are student-athletes.


Dr. Bob Shoop, senior scholar in the Leadership Studies program and the instructor of this course, believes that service is a significant component of leadership and that students must be given opportunities to translate the theories learned in the classroom into real life situations.


This summer’s service project is working with the Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan. The Boys and Girls Clubs provide youth with a safe place to learn and grow while participating in life-enhancing programs and character development experience. The Club’s mission is, “To inspire and enable all young people to realize their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens”. On June 22, approximately 80 youth and adult staff from the Boys and Girls Club will come to Kansas State for group activities with the students of the Leadership Concepts Class. Each of the activities is specifically designed to promote team building, problem solving, communication, and listening skills. Students of the class will lead groups through a series of these exercises.


According to Shoop, this field day “provides his students with the opportunity to impact the youth of the community and work along side the staff members of the Club.” 


“Such interactions for University students,” adds Shoop, “demonstrates the practice of leadership and expands through practice beyond the classroom to the community and its young people.”