Grassroots Nickname: Nish
Year you graduated: 2012
Sport and School: Field Hockey and Georgetown
Schools you did programs in: Francis Stevens, KIPP AIM, and Walker Jones
Favorite Grassroots game: Team Handball
What is your most memorable Grassroots moment?
I have a couple…
1. Playing Team Handball out on the Southwest Quad for the very first training (January ’09). I don’t think any of us realized how big Grassroots was actually going to be back then.
2. Playing Team Handball at midnight after our first Grassroots social event on the front lawn at Georgetown. We had just finished four days of training and had run our first ever Grassroots program (a Saturday session with City Year students). I’d become friends with 30+ athletes from Gtown that I may have never met otherwise.
3. Watching one of our program graduates, Jordy, facilitate a Grassroots game on her own and teaching her peers about HIV/AIDS.
4. The whole South Africa trip (Team Up). I remember pulling up to the school and meeting Hopewell and Sibongile for the first time, learning how to do the Diski dance from the South Africans, and the crazy time we had playing soccer and hanging out with Hope Solo. Learning about the Grassroot Soccer organization in South Africa and going to an actual graduation was also really cool. It was incredible seeing the impact the organization was making and it got me excited about the future of The Grassroot Project in the US.
What are you doing now?
Teaching math in the Bronx with Teach for America.
What lessons did you learn in Grassroots that have carried over to your job now?
Keep it positive, always. Through Grassroots, I had the opportunity to meet and talk to those who were personally affected by HIV/AIDS. I also learned about the surprising prevalence of HIV/AIDS in my own community, Washington, DC. Rather than becoming discouraged, Grassroots kept me positive and encouraged me to become more proactive.
What advice would you give Grassroots athletes who are getting ready to enter the real world?
Do whatever makes you happy. You’re going to be working way too much to be doing something you don’t like.
Where do you see Grassroots going in 5 years?
I hope and expect to see Grassroots continue to grow. I’m excited to get Grassroots going in NY so my students can be a part of it!