THE STUDENT-ATHLETE // REIMAGINED
My Journey & The Vision Behind BLUEPRINT [ by: Seneca Blue ]
12 years ago, I met with Kelli Richards (CHAMPS/Life Skills Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin at the time) to share my audacious idea of impacting the holistic development & overall wellness of student-athletes. I wanted to make changes on a national, or even a global scale. I never could have imagined the journey my dream would take me on. It dares me to quit daily, challenges my strength/faith & constantly forces me to turn obstacles into opportunities!
I’m still dream chasing! I’m still fighting for the millions of student-athletes that needed BLUEPRINT a decade ago & still need it today. BLUEPRINT isn’t just my blood, sweat & tears. More importantly, it’s my family’s sacrifices, it’s people like Kelli, like the late/great Milt McPike, like Donna Freitag & like Maryellen Rock that believed in me & this program from Day 1.
In June of 2017, Tom Arrix changed my life forever by investing in my vision & joining me as Co-Founder & Executive Chairman. Tom is the former VP of Global Marketing Solutions for North America at Facebook, Tom deeply believes in BLUEPRINT & wants to help cultivate healthy, well-rounded & better prepared student-athletes. I couldn’t ask for a better business partner, friend & mentor.
I may be crazy, but I believe that God’s timing is always right & that these 12 years were meant to prepare me & to bring the right people into my life to support my purpose.
Everything from the BLUEPRINT College Exposure Showcase back in the day, to being the personal skill development trainer of Wesley Matthews, of the Dallas Mavericks for 3 years & training hundreds of other athletes of all levels, has shaped me into the person I am now. I’ve coached middle schoolers to professionals & run workshops, seminars & camps. All of the knowledge I’ve gained from these experiences will help make BLUEPRINT most constructive for student-athletes.
I’m thankful for the struggle, for the delayed gratification, for the tests & the lessons. I’m a stronger & better person because of them. I’m hungrier & more humble than ever. I’ll take lasting impact over overnight success any day.
We must make comprehensive student-athlete development a HIGH PRIORITY.
We must show student-athletes that we care about their high school, college & career readiness. They need to know we care about mental health, depression, suicide prevention & awareness. We must show that we care enough to invest in keeping them drug & alcohol free. We care enough to teach them responsible social media use, financial literacy & that bullying & hazing at any level is unacceptable. We must invest in their life skill & character at a grassroots level; with intent to prepare not repair. We will teach them resilience, perseverance, resourcefulness, empathy, gratitude, humility, accountability & how to align their actions & communication with their goals. We must teach them how to identify, nurture & develop who they are outside of the sports they play. They need to know how to embrace their personal values & that sports are what they DO not who they ARE!
Being a student-athlete is not easy.
We need to help student-athletes manage stress, by teaching mindfulness (meditation, yoga, etc.) & other positive outlets of self-exploration and self-awareness. We need to teach them techniques & provide tools to manage their anger & prevent violence. They need to love themselves, know their worth & maintain a positive body image. We need to provide eating disorder prevention services, as well as nutrition & wellness education. We must educate student-athletes about the dangers of distracted driving & that one text, one post, one like, can change their lives & the lives of others forever. We must create a culture where LGBTQ student-athletes are treated with respect & as equals.
I’m beyond committed to student-athletes. We’re beyond committed to student-athletes. I’ve sacrificed everything to create BLUEPRINT for this generation & for generations of student-athletes to come. This movement will revolutionize the way we engage, empower & educate student-athletes. We will build high character individuals with healthy, positive & balanced lifestyles.
BLUEPRINT will be the first ever global holistic student-athlete development digital platform/community. It will be a unique blend of digital media, learning, resources, tools & mentoring!
Our platform will provide resources, mentoring, courses, storytelling, community, hope & direction for 65 million student-athletes globally. We’ll support student-athletes in high school/college/career readiness, social media responsibility, sports psychology, nutrition, mental health & overall wellness, financial literacy, drug & alcohol prevention, life skills, leadership development & much more.
We already have over 250 (growing by the minute) professional athletes, Olympic athletes & current collegiate student-athletes, as well as the top student-athlete development specialists in the world. We are all committed to serve as GameChangers; mentoring the next generation of student-athletes. We have a whole ecosystem inspiring, educating, empowering & motivating each other.
BLUEPRINT isn’t just me. It’s a movement & it’s our incredible GameChangers. It’s Steve Wolf, (@stevewolfdesigns) who brilliantly created BLUEPRINT’s brand identity, logo, typography. It's Dogstudio, the award-winning design & technology firm that is building both our app & desktop version. It’s advisors like Dahntay Jones, @Dahntay1 (Professional Basketball Player, Businessman, Philanthropist) & Joe Puglisi (Head of Creative Strategy at Rebel Ventures). It’s Chris Liskiewicz, @liskiewiczclsk our amazing VP of Creative Strategy, as well as our invaluable team at Clutch Design Co. Together we are BLUEPRINT. Together we will make a multi-generational impact across all sports.
This isn’t about us, it’s about the 65 million student-athletes that need us around the globe. It’s about future generations.
People often ask me what’s the “WHY” behind BLUEPRINT. The answer is: because I’ve seen some of the most promising young talents ever commit suicide. I’ve seen student-athletes suffer with eating disorders & body image issues. I’ve seen depression & mental health issues destroy careers. I’ve seen student-athletes lose scholarships because of social media. I’ve seen student-athletes think that their only value is in the sport that they play. I’ve seen student-athletes with so much potential never able to get eligible to ever play high school sports, let alone use sports as a vehicle to get a college education. I’ve seen student-athletes expected to be leaders, but never shown how. I’ve seen student-athletes with so much talent but no mental toughness. I’ve seen a lack of mindful student-athletes. I’ve seen drug & alcohol derail too many dreams.
65 million student-athletes globally are desperate for COMMUNITY, INSPIRATION, HOPE, MENTORING & EMPOWERMENT. They’ve longed for a platform to be able to invest in themselves & their futures, a platform to discover all the possibilities in sports & beyond. They need a space to cultivate & express who they truly are. For these reasons & so many more, BLUEPRINT is my calling; my purpose.