Youth Empowerment

Play Today. Lead Tomorrow.

Goal: Support South St. Paul Girls’ Hockey players as they develop as players and leaders.  Help them build the leadership skills and mental mindset to be strong leaders on their team and in their careers.



Participants:  South St. Paul Girls’ Hockey Program Players 

Coach: David Palmquist
Contact: Lori Felton

Transferable Skills

Reflection on how the skills they are learning are transferrable to sports and life


Relevant Topics

How topics are relevant right now (on their teams and in the classroom, etc.)


Career Skills

How the skills they are developing in sport will translate to careers


Here’s What is Covered in this 4-Part Series

Student-athletes will also hear from 1-2 former college athletes about their leadership journey and what they wish they had known as high school and college athletes about building their team and career readiness skills.

Session #1: Your Superpower

Student-athletes build incredible leadership skills through sport.  Yet it can be challenging to identify and translate those skills and experiences to life and careers. 

During this interactive session, student-athletes will:

  • Learn how to articulate the transferrable skills they are learning as an athlete
  • Identify their “superpower” – what strength differentiates them and drives their success?  
  • Reflect on how they use their “superpower” on their team and how they might apply it as a leader and in potential careers

Session #2: Playing Bold: Resilience

Mental skills are critical to success both on and off the ice.

Developing a strong mental framework to play bold, take risks and adapt to constantly changing environments will help athletes to be resilient not only in their sport, but in their life.

In this session, student-athletes will: 

  • Learn strategies to help cope with adversity
  • Understand how to develop a resilient mindset
  • Identify and utilize their strengths to help them perform even in the toughest situations
  • Develop a support system to help them maintain resilience

Session #3: Confident Communication Skills

Communication skills are critical as student-athletes lead both in their teams and in their lives. 

Through improv exercises and interactive activities, student-athletes will learn communication and presentation skills that will build their confidence.   

Student-athletes will learn:

  • The importance of non-verbal communication and how body language can impact confidence on the ice and in life
  • How to find their voice to advocate for their sport and career aspirations 

Session #4: Building Your Team to Dream BIG

Student-athletes have a built in team through sports, but need to learn how to build a support system as the develop as leaders beyond sport.

In this session, student-athletes will learn how to connect to build new relationships and maintain existing bonds as they move through high school, college, and begin their careers. 

Focus areas will include:

  • Building relationships and career advocates
  • Building a support system through high school and college
  • Starting to test career hypotheses through informational interviews and job shadowing


Audra Emerson

Audra Emerson

Her Next Play

Audra Emerson founder of CareerPrep and Vice President of Her Next Play, a non-profit that empowers female athletes to launch successful careers.  A passionate speaker, trainer and career coach with over 20 years of experience in recruiting and human resources, Audra has helped thousands of people advance their careers at top start-up and elite Fortune companies such as Target, Russell Investments, US Bank, Ameriprise, Allianz and more.  She knows what recruiters and managers are looking for, how hiring decisions are made, what skills matter, and what types of jobs are now available in the marketplace. 

Audra also serves as a Board Member of the Edina Girls Athletic Association, and enjoys raising two athletic daughters and coaching various youth teams.  She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Sara Wegmann

Sara Wegmann

Her Next Play

Sara Wegmann is passionate about coaching, guiding, and teaching student-athletes and young professionals as they navigate their early careers .  This passion lead her to create Her Next Play, a nonprofit that empowers female athletes to confidently launch successful careers.

Sara is a powerful guide for emerging careers and brings extensive experience in talent development from top companies such as Deloitte, Target, and Merrill Lynch.  As a college athlete, a youth soccer and volleyball coach, and a competitive tennis player, Sara is a strong believer in the power of sports in developing young leaders.  Sara was a Captain, MVP and All Conference Varsity soccer player at Lawrence University, and now serves as Co-Chair of the Lawrence University Viking Athletics Alumni Advisory Committee.  She has a B.A. in Psychology from Lawrence University and an MBA in Human Resources from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.