TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Hands on learning experience is invaluable in any profession, and when you can start young? Even better.
Florida A&M University's Developmental Research School launched a Sport Management and Anatomy and Exercise Science Academy this fall, the first program of its kind in Leon County, and it's giving students a chance to feed their interests and maybe, jumpstart a career.
"Most people just see the actual sport. They don't know what comes with it, what's behind it, who's making things happen," said Ericka Cromartie, who teaches in the Academy. "The kids get a good grasp and see how things transform behind the scenes of sports."
FAMU DRS is the home of Leon County's first Sport Management and Anatomy and Exercise Science Academy.
"As an athlete myself, I wanted to see how it's like for the personal trainers and student aids to take care of the athletes," said Kaia Randolph, a sophomore and one of five students in the Academy.
See how it's done, and then do it. These students are learning by real world application.
"Just telling us how to do it, we actually should be able to do it and the proper way to do it, it can actually be beneficial in the future," said Randolph.
"They're actually doing hands on experience and actually getting their feet wet with the sports industry," said Cromartie. "When it comes to facilitating events, wrapping and taping with athletic training, knowing about branding and marketing sports, just the whole nine."
From learning how to run an event, to treating an injury, it may start in the classroom, but that's just the beginning.
"We've got actual students at the school covering the games that the school is engaged in," said Jerry Holt, FAMU DRS' athletic trainer and an educator at FAMU who also teaches in the Academy.
"You're right there and you can see it, it's really exciting," added Randolph.
A chance to learn.
"Once they got into it, they expressed an awful lot of interest," said Holt. "That is a very rewarding experience to see them doing that."
"I hear students saying, coach, we want to be in your class, coach we heard good things about your class," said Cromartie. "It's already growing from word of mouth."
That's what it's all about. Cromartie said the goal with this program is to continue to grow, and she, and Holt are excited to make that happen.