This post stands as my first attempt to build publicity, appreciation, and greater interest in the individuals who will build our world’s economy, be leaders of our free world, contribute to advancements in medicine, agriculture, science, technology, and so many other great things we’ve yet to imagine. I’m doing this because it’s action I can take toward DOING something good versus contributing to ongoing TALK about the discrepancy in attention and focus placed on athletics versus academics within our society. To be clear, I agree that’s an unfortunate discrepancy and I’m also a very strong contributor. So this isn’t to place blame, but to spur action.
I believe sport or competition is a critical component of a person’s development within our society and I couldn’t imagine personal success for myself had I not had the experiences from participating in several sports during my childhood. I also believe that a strong majority of the adults within the United States do our children an injustice via the overwhelming promotion of athletics over academics and the lack of drive for academic excellence. Additionally, I believe the opposite- having students be high academic achievers who are inept in social settings and have very limited communication skills is not much better and possibly worse.
I believe the leaders of our future are individuals who have demonstrated obvious leadership skills, prepared self for academic success, shown savvy in working across cultural and socio-economic boundaries, committed to personal accountability and improvement, demonstrated the ability to work well with others in stressful situations, and have exhibited a commitment to society via their time and effort. I also believe students living up to this should be highly publicized, discussed, ranked, and sought than those who simply do well in a popular sport i.e. football, basketball, baseball, track, tennis, swimming, golf, etc. with very few other accomplishments. Thus, I’ve put together a base set of criteria that when combined serve as leading indicators of my ideas of leaders of the future.
My hope is that local publications (newspapers, magazines, TV, etc.), school administrators, parents and the community will participate and raise the awareness of these young leaders with the outcome being recognition of the Sacramento Valleydictorians. I welcome questions, challenge, and suggestions on the criteria and hope to initiate with a focus on high school seniors graduating in the Class of 2013. I also welcome discussion on the importance of this above and beyond the singular focus on sports.
Though the results will develop over time, I foresee this effort leading to local media highlighting the Valleydictorians throughout the school year more than they do athletes. Maybe a story discussing the challenge the student is having with choosing colleges and how colleges are pursuing them. Or maybe highlighting the likely pay that these students stand to accumulate over their careers versus that of an average professional athlete over their career. Essentially, let’s make sure we’re driving the needed focus whereas younger students will aspire to do what they do because of the attention and notoriety given. My assumption is that these students will garner far more college scholarships then those highlighted in sports and be more likely to have an enduring legacy for advancement of the local area.
Please distribute to others. Feel free to suggest students and submit data points to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Data Points used in Criteria
1. Academic Club
2. ACT Score/SAT Score
3. Class Rank of Class Population
4. Club/Team where Titled Leader
5. Individual Sport
6. Ongoing Volunteering Activity
7. School poplulation eligible for free or reduced-price lunch
8. School-wide Leadership Role
9. School API
10. Team Sport