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JCC 2017 Leadership Day Keynote is Michael Sam

Jefferson Community College (JCC) will present Leadership Day, the 10th Annual Conference, for high school and college students on Thursday, October 19, 2017.  This year’s featured keynote speaker is Michael Sam.

In 2009, Sam played defense on the University of Missouri football team, and in 2014, the National Football League (NFL) St. Louis Rams drafted him in the seventh round. As his professional football career began to take shape, Michael publicly announced he was a homosexual. During his NFL career with the St. Louis Rams, he played preseason games against the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, and the Cleveland Browns. During the final round of cuts, Sam was released when he went head to head with an NFL athlete who showed versatility in all four defensive line positions. The Dallas Cowboys added Sam to their practice squad, but he was later waived. In 2015, Sam reluctantly signed a 2-year contract to play for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL). During preseason, he played one game and cited concerns with his mental health and was suspended.  

 An icon for inclusion, Sam was the first athlete drafted by the NFL who publicly came out as gay and he was the first public homosexual athlete to play for the CFL. Sam demonstrates triumph, inclusion, and tenacity for the human spirit. Using his own personal story of resilience over life’s challenges, Sam inspires others to face their own adversaries with courage, perseverance and persistence.

In addition to a keynote address, JCC’s Leadership Day program features sessions on team building and goal setting. The program was launched in 2008 to enhance and develop leadership skills of high school and college students. In 2013, JCC’s Leadership Day Program received the Northeast Region Program of the Year designation by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.  

Area high schools interested in learning more about JCC’s Leadership Day Program should contact Enrollment Services at 315-786-2437.