Buffalo, N.Y. - A pair of D'Youville basketball student-athletes, sophomores Ashley Schenkel and Noah Denz, recently took part in the 11th Annual Experience in Community and Character Leadership Workshop, jointly hosted by the East Coast Conference and Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. On November 5 and 6, Schenkel and Denz joined student-athlete representatives from the rest of the ECC and CACC in a virtual setting for programming and interaction aimed at providing education and personal growth.
Schenkel, the president of the D'Youville Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and Denz, the Saints' SAAC secretary, participated in the online event that featured programming by the staff at Team IMPACT, an organization that strives to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team by "drafting" these kids to local college athletic teams.
"Team IMPACT's Student-Athlete Development Program is focused on the athlete experience, in sports and beyond. Team IMPACT helps student-athletes confront issues that they don't readily speak about or even have space to explore. We believe that these foundational conversations are essential to an athlete's personal and professional development," said Team IMPACT's National Director of Programs Amy VanRyn.
ECC Commissioner Robert Dranoff added "We are so pleased to have had the chance to work with our partners at Team IMPACT to provide an outstanding, personal growth curriculum developed and presented by Lisa Markland, Director of Student-Athlete Development. The activities and discussions focused on identity, resilience, the athletes' place in society and the importance of self-advocacy. Over the course of two days, everyone had a chance to speak, interact, learn, and grow."
The 2020-21 season is the first for D'Youville Athletics as a member of the East Coast Conference, as the institution transitions to NCAA Division II status.