HELPING
ATHLETES
TRANSITION TO
COLLEGE

MENTORING
ATHLETES

DIVERITY OF IDEAS AND PEOPLE

UNIFYING
ATHLETES

BUILDING
TEAMS
TO
SUCCEED

EMPOWERING
ATHLETES

Athlete 2 Athlete Mission


A2A is an intentional transition mentoring program that empowers current student athletes to provide transition support to incoming student athletes while encouraging them to achieve their goals while acclimating to the life of being a student athlete.

PROGRAM OUTCOMES


  • IMPROVE TRANSITION EXPERIENCE FOR INCOMING STUDENT ATHLETES

  • INCREASE RETENTION RATE

  • PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR COACHES TO FOCUS ON COACHING

  • IMPROVE TEAMWORK AND TEAM DYNAMICS

  • FOSTERS INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

  • ENRICH THE UNDERSTANDING OF TEAMMATES, COACHES, & THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION


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ANGELA MERCURIO
Named the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year


"To me, mentoring has been a crucial part of my journey through collegiate athletics and now as I prepare to go to medical school and beyond. When I started college, giving back and community service weren't really on my radar, at that age, everything was about me! It didn't take long for me to step outside of my comfort zone and realize that giving back made everything I did worth it. It deepened my connection with my community and friends and gave me all the joy that comes along with that. Athlete2Athlete taught me the importance of friendship in mentoring. It is so much easier to be an effective mentor and understand what your mentee needs from you when you are friends first. It is also easier to be a mentee and seek help and guidance from someone who you view as a friend and who you believe cares about you. As a young woman, I am so grateful for the mentorship I've had from teachers, coaches, and adults in my community as I was finding my way. Sometimes when you're in a situation it's hard to see how people are influencing you, encouraging you, and directing your life for the better, but once you step away you can clearly see how important those role models are. Now, I recognize my responsibility to be a role model and positive influence for younger people who may not have that guidance. A good mentor will always want the people they are mentoring to achieve more than them."

Link to Lance's Journal Article: goo.gl/6CgeUJ

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Founder Karen Kassebaum, Ph.D.


As a first generation student athlete, I know first hand how difficult it is to transition to college, gain leadership experiences beyond selective opportunities of being a team captain, and excel in and out of the classroom, all while managing the significant commitment of collegiate athletics. I have used my experience and passion for success to develop the Athlete2Athlete transitional mentoring program.

SEE WHAT STUDENT ATHLETE MENTORS ARE SAYING


Jillanna Scanlan Sutton


"Being a mentor for A2A was such a rewarding experience. I loved having a chance to get to know the incoming athletes and make them feel comfortable on campus, both academically and athletically. Being a mentor also helped me grow as a leader."


Seth Wiedel

2014 Nebraska Male Student-Athlete of the Year

“This program has led me to think of others more and give back to the team by helping out incoming athletes make a smooth transition. I think it has a great value and more experience will make it better in the years to come.”


Bjorn Barrefors

2012-13 Nebraska Male Student-Athlete of the Year

“Being a mentor has improved how I communicate with people and think on my feet to get important information through. It’s another challenge to master, how to make an impact on other peoples lives. It’s also been fun getting to know both new people on the team and improve relationships with current athletes being mentors with me.”

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Hannah Edwards


"I would have loved a mentoring program when I was a freshman at Nebraska. I was an out of state student, I had never been to Nebraska before, or stepped foot onto a college campus prior to my first semester. It was intimidating getting used to this new, college environment, and especially in a state I had never been to. I think if I had an older teammate help me figure out school life and athletics, I would have been more successful my first academic year."

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Jacob Olson


"The Athlete 2 Athlete program has been an incredible experience for me the past five years. It has allowed me to become friends with members of different event groups that I wouldn't have had the chance to meet without the program. A2A has also caused me to leave my comfort zone to become a better leader while at the same time allowing me to help the freshmen make a smooth transition into college."

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Jake Bender


“This program has led me to think of others more and give back to the team by helping out incoming athletes make a smooth transition. I think it has a great value and more experience will make it better in the years to come.”

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Kristen Dowell


"Being an A2A mentor/leader/mentee has impacted me in an immensely positive way. Before this organization I was uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. On many levels I was uncomfortable talking to new people. I was also uncomfortable with conveying my ideas to others. This organization has taught me that reaching out to new people is not scary, and it’s absolutely fun. It has taught me that I do have great ideas and how to turn those ideas into action. "

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Andy Neal


"I think the A2A mentor program is an essential. Its hard making the transition to college, even a new one, and its nice to know someone and be able to talk to them a soon as you get on campus. Its comforting moving into a new environment when you know someone will help you through it."

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Levi Gibson


“This program has led me to think of others more and give back to the team by helping out incoming athletes make a smooth transition. I think it has a great value and more experience will make it better in the years to come.”

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Anne Martin

2013 Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award

“I feel this program has allowed me to share my experiences with incoming athletes and has helped in meeting more people on the team. It is a great way to connect with freshman and help them through their first year.”

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Teran Walford


"I believe Athlete 2 Athlete is beneficial for all student athletes. I sadly only had the opportunity to be apart of it for a little over a year. In that year however, I became close with all on my mentees some of which I probably never would have connected with if it were not for the Athlete 2 Athlete program. I cannot speak personally for the athletes I help mentor but as a mentor I felt a responsibility to set a good example for the team on and off the track. That to me makes any program beneficial."

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Mark Hilderbrand


"Being a part of the initial class of A2A mentoring was a great impact on my student athlete career. The program taught me the importance of focusing on the holistic student athlete experience. It made tangible the elements of commitment and teamwork so critical to the Nebraska student athlete experience. I say it did these things because it drove a focus on giving back, learning from experience, and valuing diverse opinions. The program forced myself and the student's I mentored to get out of their comfort zone."

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Jessica Furlan


"I think the mentorship program is extremely beneficial. It not only allows for a smoother transition, but also brings together many of the athletes, fostering a better team atmosphere and stronger cohesiveness. This is especially important when your team (in my case Track and Field) is so large. Lastly, as an international athlete, there were many things that I had to do that American student athletes did not. I had to figure most of these things out myself, but once I did, it was easy for me to help out new international students. With the A2A program facilitating this, it was easy to help international students have the easiest transition possible."