Obtaining athletic scholarships to compete in college sports is not as simple as showing up at the local high school and developing into a great player. There are a number of moving parts that allow a young athlete to improve his or her chances to make it to the next level, but a lot of the students, along with their parents, are greatly misinformed on the process.

That’s where the Los Angeles Student Athlete Symposium (LASA) comes in. The event, which is being held Saturday, March 12 on the campus of USC from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., is designed to educate and empower high school student-athletes on the process of how to obtain college scholarships, and academics is a key component of that.

“Too often in today’s society, young people are given too much attention and support for their athletic accomplishments and not enough attention and support for their academic excellence and shortcomings,” said David Watts, creator of the event. “This is dangerous because when this happens, young people get the wrong impression that sports are more important than academics.”

Without the proper grade point average, core classes, and SAT/ACT scores, high school athletes can miss out on opportunities. Additionally, many do not know how to showcase themselves to college scouts, adds the organizer.

“The LASA Symposium’s main focus is to bring together like-minded high school student-athletes in a conference setting where they can learn what it takes to be successful in the classroom, successful in their sport, and successful in the college recruiting process,” Watts said.

The premise of the symposium is to focus on two essential goals—first, it is important to stress the importance of academic achievement above all else, according to Watts. Participants will fully understand that performing their very best and being a great asset to their team’s success should be desired but reaching their full potential in the classroom is what is absolutely necessary, he added.

The second goal of the symposium is to create awareness about the complicated process of becoming a student-athlete in college. The symposium participants will learn about college applications, recruiting timelines, standardized tests (ACT and SAT) and the various levels of athletic competition after high school—NCAA Divisions 1, 2, and 3—National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and junior college).

The event will feature workshops on academic perspectives and strategy, contacting college coaches, becoming better leaders, and there will be a parent workshop.

The keynote speaker will be Remound Wright, who completed his football career at Stanford University this past year.

Tickets for the symposium are $45. To register, visit www.toutoule.wix.com/lasa2016 or contact Watts at dwatts029@gmail.com.