It’s no secret that The Grassroot Project mobilizes hundreds of incredibly talented, Division I athletes from top universities to serve as mentors and facilitators in our middle school health programs. But! They’re not the only passionate people using their gifts for good! Sometimes college students will find other ways to serve: with their ability to write and design as a way to share the stories of students, parents, and athletes. Meet Alania James our Communications Intern, and Dylan Theisen, our Digital Media Intern. Both are incredible assets to our work in 2022. Read on to learn exactly what, how, and why they contribute to Grassroots!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Alania: I am a rising sophomore Public Relations major at Howard University. I grew up with a military background from my dad being in the military and my mother who is Spanish. I moved around a lot but spent the last 10 years of my life in Southern Spain growing up and going to school on a military base.
Dylan: I was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and lived there for 17 years, before moving a couple hours south to attend Ohio University with a major in multimedia journalism and a minor in graphic design! I’ve been passionate about broadcasting and sports media since I was in middle school, and a hobbyist graphic designer since I was 13. This summer marks my last before graduating from OU in the spring of next year.
What does your role at TGP look like?
Alania: I currently serve as a communications intern. I work on projects to help tell the story and keep people up to date about Grassroots and their programs. I create blog posts, gather content for social media, as well as many other smaller-scale things such as graphic design.
Dylan: I’ll be a digital media intern for the summer, which could mean a whole host of different things as the summer takes shape. Primarily, my roles will include video production and web design. But as Grassroots’ organizational growth continues, there are some other small scale projects we’re working on that I’m excited to share and be a part of.
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing with TGP?
Alania:I have loved every minute of working with getting to learn Grassroots and helping them in what they do whether it is the more remote aspect of writing blogs, or the more involved aspect of attending events and seeing those involved enjoy themselves. I look forward to further my knowledge by learning more from Grassroots and gaining experience in the communications world in a more professional setting.
Dylan: I love that the work I’m doing has an impact that reaches beyond just the people who employ me. I love doing work for passionate communities. I love knowing that I’m giving back to people who deserve the representation or the resources. The jobs I do are nice — I am working toward my passions after all. But knowing that I’m making a difference? It makes every hour worth it.
What are your biggest career goals?
Alania: I have yet to figure out which direction I want to go with my major when I graduate in three years, but I do aspire to stay in the communications/public relations community and love what I do for a living. Working with Grassroots has helped me open my eyes to see all the different things I can do with my area of study after I graduate. I cannot thank The Grassroot Project enough for the experiences I have gained in my time working with them, and all that I have yet to gain.
Dylan: After I graduate, I’m hoping to work on the digital media team of a sports, entertainment, news, or community organization. These jobs provide that fulfilling engagement with a community, but still allow me to explore an array of passions and skill sets. I’d also love to explore my roots in broadcast journalism while I’m still young. But long term, it’s been my dream job to be at the head of digital media for an NFL team.