2001-2002 Student Advisory Board Member Kayce Tillett enjoyed the chance to work with children at several community outreach events
High school students are always looking for something that will set them apart from their peers on their college applications. Every year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers provide that opportunity – and much, much more – in the form of the Buccaneers Student Advisory Board.
The Student Advisory Board (SAB) was first put together by the Bucs' community relations department during the 1999 offseason, and it has since become an integral part of the team's community outreach efforts. Every year, the SAB consists of 40 highly-motivated motivated students interested in performing community service projects, creating Buccaneer spirit in their schools and developing leadership skills in preparation for continuing education.
"I saw the SAB as a great way to learn responsibility and leadership," said Tyrone Moses, an SAB representative from Sickles High School.
This year's Student Advisory Board officially completed its year-long term on May 7. Applications for the 2002-2003 Student Advisory Board are currently being accepted. For more information on how you can become an SAB Member, please call 813-870-2700 ext. 274.
The outgoing SAB Board included 40 students representing 25 Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, and Polk county schools. The chance to meet other high school students from around the Bay area is one of the main attractions of the Student Advisory Board.
"I think it was a great experience being on the SAB," said East Bay representative Kayce Tillett. "I had the chance to meet a lot of new friends and the community service projects were a lot of fun too. I wish every high school student could experience what I did this year. I had a great time!"
Of course, the student representatives are also hands-on participants in many Buccaneer community service projects, where they have the opportunity to reach out to the community and work side by side with Buccaneers players and staff members.
"Meeting Coach Gruden at the Golf Tournament dinner and working with the Buccaneer Cheerleaders at Metropolitan Ministries were the most memorable experiences for me," said Leto High School representative Torran Wakefield.
In the past year, SAB members have participated in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Women's Organization Fall Festival, a Halloween Party at the Children's Home that featured pumpkin carving and trick-or-treat bag decorating, the Thanksgiving Gift Basket distribution at Metropolitan Ministries, the Glazer Family Foundation's Halloween Celebration at Lowry Park Zoo and "Can Hunger" canned food drive, the Toys for Tots donation at Raymond James Stadium, the Gatorade Youth Football Clinic Event at Joshua House with Mike Alstott and Dave Moore, Susan B. Komen's Race for the Cure, a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Club Event at the West Tampa Boys & Girls Club, the clean-up at Copeland Park and the Buccaneers 2nd Annual Draft Day Dash.
"My most memorable experience was attending the Children's Home (on Halloween)," said Tillett. "I thought it was so neat seeing the children having such a great time. It really meant a lot to the children and myself as well."
In their own high schools, Board Members serve as Buccaneer community liaisons to their fellow students.
SAB members are provided with promotional items to distribute to their fellow students and Buccaneers fans. Among the Buccaneer-themed items handed out by the SAB last year were key chains, notepads, luggage tags, team photos, window clings, NFL schedule cards and a poster featuring all of the Tampa Bay players who have earned their college degrees.
The commitment of the Student Advisory Board member doesn't end there, however. All SAB members are also required to work at Buccaneers home games and to attend the home games in which they are not working. At each game, half of the council members work as customer service representatives in the East and West Club Lounges of Raymond James Stadium during home games, while the rest of the members relax and enjoy the game.
"Going to the football game the very first time was my most memorable experience," said Durant High School representative Christy Walker. "I was in awe seeing the football players that close."
Among the other activities enjoyed by SAB members in the past year were an opportunity to attend Buccaneers training camp practices, dinner with the players and a tour of Raymond James Stadium.
This past season, SAB meetings took place in a variety of locations, including the Bucs' training camp, the press box at Raymond James Stadium, the locker room at One Buc Place, the East Club Level of the stadium, the Pirate Ship in the north end zone and the Practice Field at team headquarters.
A tour on the SAB also provides Board Members with a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of a professional football team.
"It was interesting to learn about the logistics of a professional sports team and how much is really involved in the organization," said Kari Pfeiffer of Palm Harbor University School.
And while the SAB experience may appeal to the football fan at first, the experience can be an eye-opener for the non-fan too. "It was definitely a great experience," said Christine Spiker of Bloomingdale High School. "I wasn't the biggest Bucs fan prior to being a part of the organization, but now I'm always curious about the team."
With fan and converted fan alike, the goal of the Buccaneers Student Advisory Board remains giving back to the community, developing the leaders of tomorrow and, of course, improving that dreaded college application.
The 2001-2002 Student Advisory Board Members were Lisa Bardwell (Eastlake), Meghan Bowles (Tarpon Springs), Kevin Brown (Dunedin), Mika Bulmash (Blake), Brian Calhoun (Brandon), Michael Carty (Durant), Maria Cevallos (Wharton), April Coates (Wharton), Zachry Cooper (H.B. Plant), Jarod Dicks (Plant City), Johnny Dicks (Plant City), Aaron Garcia (Armwood), Shelley Griffin (Plant City), Ricky Harb (Berkeley Prep), Carlista Hawls (Thomas Jefferson), Christina Hernandez (H.B. Plant), Amanda Kern (Tarpon Springs), Jeffrey Livingston (Palm Harbor University), Brandi Mabe (Blake), Brittany Mills (Manatee), Tyrone Moses (Sickles), Ari Nikjeh (Palm Harbor University), Kari Pfeiffer (Palm Harbor University), Hailey Pike (Tampa Bay Technology), Ashley Potter (All Saint's Academy), Matthew Riebow (Armwood), Robert Sadler (Durant), Christopher Sampson (Hillsborough), Matthew Scott (Jesuit), Candace Sharrow (East Lake), Nida Siddiqi (Tampa Bay Technology), Christine Spiker (Bloomingdale), Robyn Stambaugh (Boca Ciega), Kayce Tillett (East Bay), Melissa Valdes (Sickles), Torran Wakefield (Leto), Christy Walker (Durant) and Mackenzie Wilkinson (Riverview).