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Fever focus on opportunity, empowerment during National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Standing in front of more than a room full of high school girls from each of the IPS high schools, Kelly Krauskopf instructed the students to repeat after her, word by word, “Anything IS possible.”

“Today’s world for women and girls the opportunities are just magnificent, there are so many things that they can do,” the Indiana Fever senior vice president said.

In celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, the Fever opened Bankers Life Fieldhouse for more than 50 student-athletes to show how doors continue to open for women in sports careers.

"You never know because it's not always the path you think you're going to be on now,” Julie Graue, Fever COO emphasized as part of one of several panels the franchise assembled Friday.

"Telling your story is critical for our girls in order for them to grow and learn that anything is possible,” IPS Director of Student Services Flora Jones said.

I was one of the panelists invited to address the girls and shared my experiences working in sports media.

"It's also really important to believe in yourself,” I stressed. "How many of you doubt yourself, how many of you struggle with self-confidence? I know I do."

“They're in the position now of choosing careers and so when they can come out and actually hear women in careers in sports they know, even if I'm not the best, even if I’m not a starter, I can still be involved in sports,” Jones said.

The students were also able to hear how those principles learned through sports continue to pay off.

"Sports teaches you how to work with people from different backgrounds -- different ethnic, religious whatever it is, you're working toward a common goal,” Shayna Sangster, associate director of marketing for the Pacers, said. The event also aims to help these young athletes find their voices and the strength to be leaders in the wake of sports scandals rocking the country.

"One of the things that we're trying to teach in our schools at the high school level is to be able to be an advocate for yourself,” Jones explained.

"I think that the biggest message for girls to understand is speak up, continue to use your voice,” Krauskopf explained. “As we grow as a society and we start seeing women and girls in new opportunities and learning how to use our voice individually and collectively."

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