F.L.A.M.E. (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) is an experience of a lifetime.
The program taught career and leadership development through various presentations by U.S. Olympians such as Ivan Lee (fencing, 2004); Teresa Edwards (basketball, 1984, 88, 92, 96, 2000); Derek (speedskating, 1998, 2002, 06); Cindy Stinger (team handball, 1984, 88, 92) and Willie Banks (athletics 1980, 84, 88. Other presenters were Paralympian Ralph Green (skiing, 2006, 10); Olympic hopefuls Jason Pryor (fencing) and Jesse Beckom, III (bobsled). There were also presentations by various employees of the USOC.
The program wasn't all sit down presentations. The 29 participants had the opportunity to sit in on a fencing demo where they learned about the sport, then actually participated in the demo. Along with the fencing demo there was a table tennis demo where the participants learned about the sport and played against a 15 year-old national champion.
The participants were able to do a "behind the scenes" tour of the Olympic Training Complex. During their stay for the program they were able to live, eat and workout in the same facilities with Olympians/Paralympians & hopefuls!
They took a trip to Garden of the Gods, which is a very popular tourist site and a place where local residents go hiking and rock climbing.
There were approximately 75 applicants for the program, however only 29 were chosen. Participants came from all ends of the United States, from New Jersey to Florida, from Virginia and Georgia, all the way to California. Some of the schools represented were; Virginia State University, University of Alabama, Barry University and Temple University just to name a few.
Once the program came to a close there was nothing but good remarks from the participants to those who helped host the program. Many of the participants said, "The F.L.A.M.E. program was an unforgettable experience." Another participant stated that they enjoyed the new relationships they created at the program. Benecia Newhouse and Christine Taylor, both USOC employees & F.L.A.M.E. staff stated, "The F.L.A.M.E. 2010 class was one of the best classes the program has ever had."