Kenni Bowling has always considered herself a leader. She was the volleyball team captain in high school and has even coached volleyball at local middle schools. But it wasn’t until last spring, when she was accepted into the American College of Sports Medicine’s Leadership and Diversity Training Program, that she began to grasp her leadership potential off the court.

“Now I have this opportunity to work my way up and be a leader in my career, so I can continue setting an example,” says Bowling, an exercise science major who plans to study physical therapy after she graduates in May.

It’s this motivation to be a role model in the field of sports medicine that earned her a spot in the Leadership and Diversity Training Program, which provides members with mentorship and funding opportunities. Ultimately, the hope is that the students in the program will go on to take leadership positions within ACSM.

“When I do make it to that level, I think it will be really rewarding to give back and offer guidance to other people like me who are just starting out,” says Bowling, who so far has enjoyed an all-expenses-paid trip to the ACSM Annual Meeting in Baltimore – an experience that included a visit with U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin – and has been working with her professional mentor, who is there to give
her ongoing guidance as she explores her future, her goals and her potential.

“It’s a great opportunity,” says Bowling. “It’s all about experiencing things I maybe wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s really pretty cool.”

Photo by Mike Ledford