STEER For Student Athlete’s office on School St. is usually bustling with staff, community partners and, of course, student-athletes. Today, STEER’s student-athletes find themselves adjusting to a new reality: adopting remote education, social distancing and at-home workouts instead of team sport practices. In light of all the changes to day-to-day life, the organization aims to remain a source of stability and hope for its program participants.
Founded in 2012 by local Rye philanthropists Mike Eck, Kevin O’Callaghan and Port Chester educator Joseph Durney, the organization provides individualized mentorship, services and financial support to ensure students thrive academically, develop socially and emotionally, and excel athletically. STEER currently serves 63 student-athletes across three school communities in Port Chester, Yonkers, and the Bronx.
“We view mentorship and community as vital to adapting in times of uncertainty,” the organization stated. “We will continue to provide support services and work united with our community partners, families, and advisors to rise up throughout this pandemic.”
As the novel coronavirus hit reached Westchester County and New York City, closing all schools and halting extracurricular activities, STEER quickly adapted its program offerings in order to continue to provide support to students via virtual means. All staff and program participants have been equipped with the tools necessary for success and regular engagement.
Student-athletes continue to have access to the following:
- Mentorship: Mentorship is at the core of STEER’s program model. Each student-athlete is paired with a mentor who provides support and identifies needs for the student. The value of mentorship during this time is priceless. Student-athletes are able to continue to lean on their advisors as a trusted support system as we ensure both parties are in contact on a daily basis.
- Virtual Programs: All programs have been adapted to online platforms. These include:
- Peak Mental Game (PMG): Led by a professional sports psychologist, PMG curriculum continues to build our student-athletes’ mental strength. Student-athletes have access to various PMG courses that focus on skills such as concentration, motivation, adaptability, time management, etc. Weekly guidance from the sports psychologist equips the student-athletes with mental perspectives/tools to help them navigate the current public health situation.
- College Connections: College Connections, led by a college athletic director, provides support and guidance through the college athletic recruitment and college admissions processes. Student-athletes will remain on track with college readiness progress as meetings with College Connection’s director transition online. Student-athletes will continue to have access to SAT prep courses, college application and scholarship support, and guidance with the college athletic recruiting process.
- Advisory Council for Empowering Girls (ACE): ACE programs target areas of need and interest specific to STEER’s female student-athletes. ACE will facilitate weekly media studies centered on female empowerment.
- Athletic Support: In addition to weekly fitness challenges, STEER plans to work with one of their community partners in Port Chester, Beastmode Athletics, to provide virtual training sessions and at home workout plans to ensure student-athletes can maintain consistency in their sports.
- Community Resource Connectivity: STEER has compiled and distributed information on new resources in line with the needs of their student-athletes and their families. The organization took care to purposely connect program participants to resources within their community, allowing for greater accessibility to needed services.
- Real-Time Support: The organization remains committed to providing high quality, student-centered support.
- Office Hours: Administrators have implemented virtual office hours during which students and advisors are encouraged to sign on and share any needs, experiences, and most importantly, continue to connect and engage as a community.
- Outreach Coordinator: Is providing an additional layer of personalized contact with each student-athlete and advisor. Any needs identified during these correspondences are shared with the Student Support Administration.
For more information please visit https://www.steerforstudentathletes.org/
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