As a centerfielder for the La Salle softball team, Emma Schweigert knows that connecting with her teammates is important for their overall success.
But it was when she was named the Student Café Executive Officer (SCEO) for the on-campus Saxbys that Schweigert found unique ways to connect with both the La Salle and Philadelphia communities.
The SCEO is an opportunity provided through a partnership between Saxbys and La Salle. In addition to managing the on campus café, the SCEO also earns academic credit.
Identifying needs in her community, Schweigert collected excess food from the week to deliver to non-profit organizations in the area.
HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE: These 5 teams dominate at home
Schweigert worked with Saxbys management to start delivering bagels and pastries to local organizations: Face-to-Face, a legal and health service for underprivileged individuals and Rock Ministries Kensington, an after-school exercise program for kids.
She and her Saxbys team also developed a “Pay as You Wish Day” at the café that would raise funds for the La Salle Fund for Students in Crisis, which helped provide resources for the on-campus food pantry, the Basket.
“Anybody could come in and get anything off the menu that they wanted for any price,” Schweigert said. “If they wanted to come up and get a coffee and pay nothing, that was totally fine. Give them a free coffee. But if somebody wanted to come up and pay $20 for a smoothie, then that was okay too.”
The effort raised $5,800 which included a matching donation from the Saxbys corporate office.
Balancing her work as the SCEO and a student-athlete was no simple task.
As the SCEO, Schweigert, a double major in marketing and finance, managed a 20-person cafe team while keeping up on schoolwork and practice.
A typical day for Schweigert meant waking up at 5:15 a.m. for conditioning, opening the café at 7 a.m., working an eight-hour day and then heading to softball practice.
Softball, though, helped her accomplish all she was being asked to do.
“I was going to do both, and I wanted to be successful in both. I didn't want either commitment to suffer. That drive and determination that softball has instilled in me really helped,” Schweigert said.
Her hard work and perseverance have paid off - Schweigert is now the student COO for the café. She recently finalized a partnership between Saxbys and La Salle athletics, adding another accomplishment to her resumé before she takes the next plunge in her career.
Oh and after tying the program’s single season record for home runs with 10 last year, she has two this season while leading the team in batting average with a .311 clip.
“I feel super confident going into interviews being able to say I was a student CEO and I also was able to manage being a Division I athlete at the same time,” she said. “I've learned so much and can talk to so many different points that I was unable to before. I can talk about team development things not only through softball and athletics, but also, through a professional scope as well.”