Friesen ’05 Empowering Female Athletes
In the world of athletics, Teresa Friesen, an alumna of Skutt Catholic from the class of 2005, has taken her passion for wellness to new heights. With her innovative startup, SheMate, she is transforming the way young and aspiring athletes approach their sporting careers and mental well-being.
Teresa’s path to founding SheMate was anything but conventional. From Nebraska and equipped with years of experience in Chicago and rural Iowa, Teresa initially worked in school and clinical settings. As a college professor, she began to witness a recurring need for individual wellness. This realization became the inspiration for her entrepreneurial journey.
SheMate provides support and mentorship to young athletes through virtual wellness groups. These groups are facilitated by successful women in the world of sports, including college, professional, Olympic, and Paralympic athletes. The goal is to help young athletes navigate their present and future in a healthy and intentional manner.
One of SheMate’s key initiatives is a five-week mentoring program. Delivered in a small group setting, it intentionally involves up to 10 students at a time, all of whom receive mentorship from skilled facilitators and a rotating roster of athletes. This unique structure allows mentees to hear from 10 athletes across the country, each with distinct experiences, ideas, and recommendations.
The power of this approach lies in the validation and support that comes from peers. It empowers young athletes by showing them that they are not alone in their journey and that there is a network of individuals who genuinely care about their success.
SheMate will continue connecting individuals who are only a few years apart in their athletic journeys. This connection bridges gaps, allowing aspiring athletes to learn from those who have recently been down a similar path. While the organization’s current focus is on sports, Teresa envisions expanding into other industries, connecting college athletes with mentors in various fields.
Teresa attributes her journey and inspiration to her formative years at Skutt Catholic. She mentions that the school challenged her intellectually and encouraged her to think beyond textbooks and memorization. It was at Skutt Catholic where she learned to question norms that harm communities. This experience instilled in her the belief that change is not just about charity but also about actionable transformation. She expresses gratitude for the friends she made during her high school years, who remain a close-knit family almost two decades later.
Teresa’s entrepreneurial journey offers valuable lessons for those who aspire to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. She sees entrepreneurship as a space of creation, encouraging individuals to connect with others, learn continuously, and give themselves the strength to embrace the unknown. Her journey serves as an inspiration to all of us to question norms, take action, and create a better future.
- Alumni Spotlight content provided by Meghan Sullivan ’04, SC Director of Alumni Relations