Amherst LEADS Hosts Back-To-Back Events

AMHERST, Mass. – On Monday, March 25th and Tuesday, March 26th Amherst LEADS hosted back-to-back events, providing the second Elective Night for the Futures Program and “Caring Deeply” programming for the First-Year Initiative.

For the second Futures Elective Night, the sophomore and junior Amherst student-athletes were given the option of choosing between attending 3 different sessions with three distinct guests who offered a variety of takeaways and leadership lessons. In one session, Blair Bloomston, Associate Director and Co-Founder of Game On Nation, returned to Amherst LEADS and led the student-athletes through a highly interactive and engaging session designed to build confidence and comfort in public communication. In another session, Sarah Bullard, former Duke lacrosse player and current member of the United States National Team, guided the Futures through the process of creating “self-concept boards” designed to analyze their own personal leadership style. Finally, in the third session the Futures were joined by former Ugandan Olympic Team Captain Julius Achon who shared his both remarkable story of overcoming adversity and his comprehensive philanthropic efforts to provide for his hometown.  

On Tuesday night, Amherst LEADS hosted an event entitled “Caring Deeply.” The evening was designed to encourage the first-year student-athletes to give back to their respective communities and realize the power of the platform of sport. Returning from the previous evening, Julius Achon once again shared his extraordinary life story which included being captured and forced to be a child soldier in Joseph Kony’s LRA, earning a gold medal at the 1994 World Junior Championships, and representing Uganda in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. Perhaps Julius’ biggest accomplishments, however, are his philanthropic contributions to his hometown of Awake, Uganda where he has founded both an orphanage that cares for 37 children and a medical clinic that provides services for thousands, despite his own meager resources.

Following the conclusion of Julius’ remarks, those in the FYI Program were asked to design and customize a t-shirt to send to Uganda. The roughly 140 t-shirts that were customized will be sent to Uganda and distributed to children at Julius’ orphanage and medical center.