Izzy Pacho Columnn

IZZY’S POV: My experience with Arizona’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)


Hi Wildcat Fans!

As I reflect on my time here at Arizona, I want to share with you an integral part of my career here as a student-athlete. My sophomore year I was given the opportunity to be a part of a group called the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. SAAC is the “voice of the student-athlete” and provides input on institutional, conference and national issues.

SAAC members act as a liaison between student-athletes and athletic administrators. My role as a representative was to attend meetings, be the voice for my team, participate in community service activities, and learn leadership skills along the way. I loved my experience the first year and decided to continue with SAAC for my junior year. I was appointed Chair of Community Service and was responsible for all community service events made available to student athletes. This is when I became really passionate about community service because I realized how much of an impact we could have on any program we became a part of. Even if it was just for one day, a couple hours, or even half an hour, as student-athletes our presence is so valuable to our community here in Tucson.

Arizona’s SAAC conducted a sock drive this school year (Pacho photo)

The look of appreciation you get from programs we have helped is worth any amount of time we give. I have had a lot of experience with volunteering with children and it is so rewarding. Whether it is playing outside with them, reading books, or just answering their questions, they love seeing us and it’s the least I can do for the community that has given me so much. We have volunteered at a number of places here in Tucson, such as elementary schools for love of reading week, El Tour de Tucson, Tucson Meet Yourself, and countless of non-profit organizations that have come on campus for us to help. SAAC has been a gateway for our athletic department to become more involved with the Tucson community.

SAAC from the 2022 CATSYS (Pacho photo)

For my last year here, I took on a bigger role in SAAC and became President. I oversaw all subcommittees, which include Community Service, Health and Wellness, Career and Leadership, and Diversity and Inclusion. We accomplished so much this year as a group and I will always remember the dedication and passion that SAAC representatives have.

I have to give a shoutout to a few people, Allie Skaggs who will be President of SAAC next year, Paige Dimler who will be another representative for our team, and Sofia Read who is the Director of C.A.T.S. Student-Athlete Development. Sofia has helped me my entire career here at Arizona and has done so much for all athletes on campus. She has helped with my resumes, interview preparation, and building leadership skills. Sofia is the administrator that runs SAAC and makes it what it is today. I just want to say thank you to her and all the work she puts in for us student-athletes to have a great experience.

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