SSSP hosted our first Leadership Academy for graduating student-athletes in June of 2017 to expand and enhance our core mission. The goal of the academy is to help students from our schools make the often difficult transition from elementary school to high school. The academy curriculum was developed by SSSP board members in collaboration with Jamal Adams, Jennifer Beltran and Marc Maye. Each participating school nominated one male and one female student-athlete to participate in the day-long event. The students chosen exemplified these five ARROW characteristics: A=authentic, R=respectful, R=responsible, O=open to others and W=well balanced. Throughout the day, students explored aspects of these five key principles through a series of hands-on activities. Our young leaders ended the day better prepared for the academic and social challenges awaiting them in high school. As important, they left with a better understanding of how the skills they learned on-court transfer to the game of life. Upon completing the Academy, students were awarded a special Academy Leadership sash to wear at their eighth grade graduation ceremonies. Graduates of the Leadership Academy will be invited back in future years to serve on our high school panel as mentors.