Sports have taught me a lot about myself and my leadership style, but these activities throughout this course and readings were extremely helpful because it made me look more in-depth at myself and why I am the way I am. I have always known my parents played a big role in that but I think I have also picked up a lot of things on my own as I have lived by myself. I have become much more independent and I think that also plays a role in my leadership style. Being independent and confident in who I am, allows me to speak up in hard times and lead. I am someone who is used to stepping into a leadership role when others do not want to. I take on the hard moments and bring the group together. I also know that as a female I can break down the barriers of being a female leader and that we are not always supposed to have a big voice. I have had the opportunity to lead many different people, I would not say my personality is loud or really even bold but I have a way of attracting people towards me. I speak in important times but I also know the value of leading by example, if you are not holding yourself to a high standard and doing it yourself, your voice will not be effective. These activities have really taught me the importance of knowing myself and being confident in myself but also giving myself grace at times. Knowing that I still have a lot to learn and pushing myself to be better and learn more. This course has pushed me to grow as a person and a leader, grow in ways that I never knew I needed. Our readings and discussions have forced me to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn more not only about myself but about others. One thing that I have really benefitted from was learning about groups and people that I do not know a lot about and it has taught me to be much more understanding. This class has helped me find a love for research and wanting to learn more about myself as well as others, it has pushed me out of my comfort zone, pushed me to have difficult conversations but conversations that were so important and so needed.
I want to share about the lack of leadership that I have seen through all of this.
I have had opportunities leading up to this year to facilitate groups and be involved in decision making regarding Oregon State Basketball, but most recently I have been tasked with and had the opportunity to lead a group of representatives from all of the PAC-12 women’s basketball teams to do something that will hopefully bring us all together and show unity to people who are watching us and who are impacted by us.
With everything that is going on with social justice in our world and the disunity our Country is in, I was also seeing a lack of leadership and direction from our conference as a whole. I was finding that no one wanted to speak up because of the fear of saying the wrong thing, which then lead to no one stepping up or taking charge. Conversations were happening but not going anywhere and as a student athlete who feels strongly about this as well as having close friends who I consider family being directly affected by this I took it upon myself to get action started. I felt that doing something as a whole conference would be much more powerful than doing things as individual teams. We have the opportunity to compete in one of the best basketball conferences in American and have a stage with a lot of eyes on us. This provides us with a platform to reach many people and make a difference. I knew going into this that I wanted whatever we did to be unique as well as positive. After many conversations with friends and people I consider mentors I got the feeling that a lot of the disunity people are experiencing comes from negativity, a lot of hurt from the past, and a lack of love and joy in the world.
As a conference we have been going through the process of figuring out what we want PAC-12 women’s basketball to portray to others. Part of that has been working on a unified warm-up that every team will wear before each game to show our unity as a group even amidst the competition. The goal was for our warm-up shirt to unify us as and bring us together as a whole league. This opportunity to get a representative from each team together to discuss social justice and what our country is currently going through was an amazing learning experience for me, it brought up conversation that can be difficult to talk about at times and it allowed a safe space for people to express how they are feeling, and their ideas on how they want to express those feelings.
As student athletes competing at a very high level, we have a platform to use and we are an example to those who watch us. There are so many things people are dealing with right now and we need to take any opportunity we have to lead in a positive manner and push for change as well as equality. This experience has had a very big impact on me. Before expressing my idea which led to being the lead on this project, I was someone who was scared to speak up because I did not want to say the wrong thing or was afraid it was not my place. I have found that neither of those things are accurate and allies are needed through this. This is about everyone coming together and creating something bigger and stronger in order to create change.
I went to a predominantly white school throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school, and I could add Oregon State into that as well. Before I got to college and during my educational experiences I had three teachers that are a person of color. Three, out of 12 years and many classes with different teachers. Growing up in Oregon, which is a predominantly white state throughout the staff, faculty and students in the schools I grew up in very much lacked in diversity. There were very few students of color that I went to school with growing up and even fewer in the staff and faculty. Oregon State definitely has a more diverse community throughout students, staff and faculty, which is extremely important especially at a university. Being an athlete, traveling for sports and having teammates from all different communities is where I learned the most about race. Sharing stories and talking about differences as well as experiences, is what has taught me the most and has allowed me to build relationships with people who grew up in a different community than I did as well as who have very different experiences and viewpoints than I do. I learned that race plays a much bigger role in many people’s lives than I even realized. Being white but having some of my best friends and people I consider family being people of color, I have always seen color but not in a way of thinking we are different or that someone is superior than the other, but seeing the history and who they are. I have learned the importance of communication and conversations.
The girls in this picture were apart of one of my basketball teams and played a very big part in my learning about race. Growing up in a primarily white state and area there was not a lot of diversity in my schools. These girls were a part of the first team that I played on that was very diverse. This picture was taken four years ago and I still talk to them daily and they have all became family to me.
These three are my best friends. I met them all when I got to Oregon State and they have also been a huge part of my life and have helped me become more educated as well as pushing me to educate myself more and others about race. They make me want to be so much better.
The value that comes from having hard and real conversations with people you love and trust is so valuable and can teach you so much, especially if you go into the conversation wanting to learn and become more educated. Basketball has provided me with experiences I would have never had if I did not play it, I created and made friendships that have lasted a life time because of the sport. Being an athlete in college has also provided me with a much more diverse community in the athletic community.
My name is Aleah Goodman, I am currently living in Corvallis, Oregon and this is my first term of the CSSA program. I am a Senior on the Oregon State Women’s basketball team. I was able to finish my undergrad in Human Development and Family Sciences in three years and decided to start my masters in the CSSA program my final year. Basketball and School make up the majority of my time but when I am not doing school work or in the gym I like to spend time with my friends and family. I also have enjoyed watching Criminal Minds when I do watch tv.
I was born and raised in Oregon moving only twice between Canby and Oregon City, although I went to High School in Milwaukie at La Salle High School. My dad was also born and raised in Oregon and went to Barlow High School, while my mom was raised in Idaho in a very small town, Weiser, where my grandparents still live. My parents met at George Fox University where my dad played baseball and my mom played volleyball. They met in their writing class. They have been married for 30 years on June 1st. They have five kids and two granddaughters. My oldest sisters are twins and 27 years old, one is married with two daughters and the other is engaged, but Covid-19 has moved to her wedding back. My next oldest sister, is 23 years old and graduated from Grand Canyon University in December 2018. I am the next sibling, at 22 years old, the youngest of the girls but overall the second youngest. My little brother is 5 and in Kindergarten, he is very smart and loves playing sports. My parents have given my siblings and I an amazing life and we have been extremely fortunate. My dad is one of the most hardworking individuals I have ever met and I have been blessed to watch and learn from him and his work ethic for the last 22 years, he is easily my best friend and biggest supporter through everything. My mom is an angel and probably the most caring and sweetest individual I know. I would say my sisters are much more like my mom while I am much more similar to my dad. We are both extremely competitive in everything we do. My parents have always preached to my siblings and I to treat everyone as equals and with love and kindness. My mom has a servants heart and I think that is something that has been passed down to all my siblings and I. We love having the opportunity to help others and I think that is why I wanted to study human development and family sciences and then move on to getting a masters in CSSA because it provides me with an opportunity to push myself to be better but also help others grown within themselves as well as out of their comfort zone.
Above is a picture of my family, from 2017. These are my people and are the reason I am who I am. They have had such an influence in my life and are my inspiration.
Above is a photo of my nieces, The older one is Maci she is four and the younger one is Blakely she is one. I added a photo of them because they bring so much joy to my life and are two of the sweetest girls. I love being their auntie.
I also decided to add a photo of my basketball team. These girls have become my home away from home and I consider them all family. I see them all almost everyday and they never fail to make me laugh.