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Athletics: Leadership Lafayette and Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Announce Geaux Lead Academy

New partnership to focus on educating Louisiana student-athletes on civic engagement and community impact

LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics and Leadership Lafayette have partnered to create the Geaux Lead Academy, a curriculum of programming to educate the department’s student-athletes on civic leadership and the local governmental process.

Leadership Lafayette is the flagship program of the Leadership Institute of Acadiana, and the organization has created a curriculum that will focus on numerous aspects of community involvement, including: local and state government, voter education, local art and culture, health care, volunteer opportunities and law enforcement.

"We are excited and inspired by the partnership with Leadership Lafayette to create new civic engagement and Geaux Lead programming," said Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard. "This is a tremendous opportunity for our student-athletes to gain invaluable insights into local and state leadership, as well as develop tools and networking relationships that will serve them and our community for a lifetime."

Student-athletes will also receive tutelage in professional networking, with access to CEO roundtables and One Acadiana membership meetings scheduled for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Spring-boarding from those educational engagements will be ongoing internship opportunities and job placements.

"The Leadership Institute of Acadiana is proud of our long-standing relationship with the University," said Ashley Mudd, Executive Director of the Leadership Institute of Acadiana. "We are thrilled to now share our civic leadership programming with student-athletes and to engage them in our local business community. We look forward to seeing how these students will lead our community in the future."

Activities begin on Monday, Oct. 26, with a local and state leaders Zoom with student-athletes featuring both Mudd and Stephen Waguespack, president and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI). The duo will discuss voter education with the Ragin’ Cajuns. For the remainder of the months of October and November, the Ragin’ Cajuns will be introduced to the Geaux Lead program through additional online-based seminars.

The curriculum continues into the Spring 2021 semester with civic engagement meetings, internship education and placements, as well as roundtables with local CEOs. Local companies currently participating in the inaugural year of the academy include: Leadership Lafayette, Fenstermaker & Associates, Under Pressure, Metal Shark Boats, Acadian Companies and the United Way.

Overview of Curriculum
Civic Engagement
– Student-athletes will be provided with the ability to connect with leaders in local and state government to gain insight on how laws and policies are written and enacted, as well as learning and connecting with leaders through other areas of community and government.

Leadership Training & Network Development
– Mentorship sessions and CEO roundtables will occur on a monthly basis, allowing student-athletes an opportunity to gain invaluable leadership skills and build a network that will serve them for the remainder of their professional careers.

Career Planning & Job Placement
– Louisiana’s student-athletes will be provided access to local and regional companies to gain work experience and developing transferable skill sets, which can eventually lead to job placement opportunities.