InSideOut in Action: Transformational Purpose Statements for Captains

This is the first part in a series called “InSideOut in Action,” where we document purpose-based athletics and transformation student-athlete leadership in InSideOut Schools. 

“Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” – Aristotle

Two foundational steps within the InSideOut Initiative pathway are developing your personal transformational purpose statement and as a staff your collective transformational purpose statement. Once these important pieces are established, consider extending a complimentary leadership activity with your student leaders as you establish common language and culture within your school.

As part of the St. Anthony Village High School Captains Council, this September each student leader developed his or her transformational purpose statement as a captain. The captains went through reflection activities similar to InSideOut coaches and administrators—identifying core values and putting those core values into an actionable purpose statement.

As the fall season nears its end, I checked in with a few of our captains to see what kind of an impact this exercise had on their leadership efforts. I asked these captains how their leadership journey had changed after developing a purpose statement. The insight some of our captains provided were inspiring.

Elena Schenkenberg: Girls Tennis Captain

Q: As a captain, how did writing transformational purpose statement help you?

A: It helped me identify what kind of a leader I want to be and brought focus to how I can use my leadership throughout this season to help the team. I’ve become more active and vocal helping my team and teammates grow.


Jackson Mack: Football Captain

Q: How has a captain’s job description changed in your mind since you identified your transformational purpose statement?

A: I used to think being a captain was all about talent, but now I understand it’s about leading by example, positivity, and helping your team come together to reach its goals.


Grace Pawlyshyn: Soccer Captain

Q: What changes in how you lead have you seen in yourself this year?

A: I’ve stepped it up this year. I have dedicated myself to the team—assisting the coaches, leading team activities, and most importantly helping keep our team’s motivation and confidence up! I have worked hard to lead through my core values…leading with respect, positivity, and being approachable for my teammates.


Lily Saddoris: Cross Country Captain

Q: How has your transformational purpose statement made you a better leader?

A: I have become a more positive captain. One of my goals for the season is to be a positive and encouraging athlete for my team. I learned that positivity and confidence can spread like wildfire through a team. It only takes one person with a good attitude to uplift the mood of an entire team. This season, I will be that person!

I started the season with the idea I have to lead practices and organize the fun team traditions. After reflecting on my purpose of being a captain, I learned I am here to encourage my team, make everyone feel welcomed and respected, and to be a positive influence on each athlete—not just lead workouts. 

It’s witnessing this type of student growth that keeps giving me hope for our future and continually reaffirms my own purpose as an educational leader—serving to use the power of school sports to make the world a better place!