SAB member Rachel Armstrong paints faces at the Buccaneers Annual Halloween Party at the Children's Home
Each spring, Rich McKay and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' player personnel department assemble a top-flight collection of talent for the coming season. At the same time, the Bucs' community relations department is busy with the creation of its own winning team: 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 brings together 40 highly-motivated high school students interested in performing community service projects, fostering Buccaneer spirit in their schools and developing leadership skills in preparation for continuing education.
This year's Student Advisory Board officially completed its year-long term on May 1. Applications for the 2003-2004 Student Advisory Board are currently being accepted. Click here for a printable application for the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers Student Advisory Board Member, or call 813-870-2700, ext. 274 for more information.
The outgoing SAB Board included students representing 35 Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Pasco 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 Board. Of course, the student representatives are also hands-on participants in many Buccaneer community service projects, where they have the opportunity to work side-by-side with Tampa Bay players and staff members.
Over the past year, SAB members 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, a clean up at the Dunedin Causeway, the Thanksgiving Gift Basket distribution at Metropolitan Ministries, the Glazer Family Foundation's Halloween Celebration at Crown Lanes Bowling Alley, the Gatorade Youth Football Clinic Event at Joshua House with Mike Alstott and the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.
"I think it was a great experience being on the SAB," said outgoing member 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!"
In their own high schools, Board Members serve as Buccaneer community liaisons to their fellow students.
SAB members are provided with team promotional items to distribute to other fans in their schools. Among the 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.
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, while the rest of the members relax and enjoy the action.
Not every SAB event centered around a community-help project. Among the other activities enjoyed by SAB members in the past year were training camp practices, a dinner with WR Keenan McCardell and a tour of Raymond James Stadium.
The SAB holds monthly meetings in a variety of locations, which last year included 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. Through all their interactions with the team, Board Members get a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of a professional football team.
Despite all these side benefits, the primary goal of the Buccaneers Student Advisory Board remains giving back to the community and developing the leaders of tomorrow.
"I saw the SAB as a great way to learn responsibility and leadership," said Tyrone Moses, a former SAB representative. "It was great to be around the organization and see how everything works."
The 2002-2003 Student Advisory Board Member were: Zsantel Allen (Brandon), Aly Anderson (Riverview), Rachel Armstrong (Chamberlain), Brandon Blue (Lakewood), Tiffani Brown (Hillsborough), Del Cabeche (Jefferson), Ashley Chalifoux (Seminole), Jillian Cohn (East Lake), Veronique Conus (Dunedin), Amanda DeLoatche (Plant), Megan Demartini (Palm Harbor), Scott Eason (Plant City), Robin Fambri (Pinellas Park), Jill Finlayson (Boca Ciega), Nicole Gilbo (Hudson), Erika Gongola (Durant), Thomas Gruber (Wharton), Melissa Gryn (Cavalry Christian), Tramaine Harvey (Robinson), Lauren Heinen (Palm Harbor University), Kendra Hutchins (Blake), Kamaria Jordan (King), Stephanie Key (Chamberlain), Cheryl Kravchuck (Bloomingdale), Jessica Latour (Berkeley Prep), Leah Linder (Countryside), Carly Litzenberger (Lakewood Ranch), Carrie Love (Tampa Bay Tech), Elizabeth Lyle (All Saints), Alphia Morin (St. Pete High), Grant Nichols (Plant City), Jason Novisk (Wharton), Justine Perry (King), Sean Riebau (Tarpon Springs), Alicia Rose (Sickles), Christopher Shewbarran (Gaither), Jenny Socias (Academy of Holy Names), Tracy Talbot (East Bay), Ryan Valdes (Leto), Brett Walsh (Gulf), Patrick Westlake (Middleton) and Jennifer Young (Riverview).