” Grassroots introduced me to many public health concerns, and taught me that there are actual solutions to systematic problems, such as HIV/AIDS in DC”
Entering The George Washington University in the Fall of 2013, Erin “Boody” Boudreau, a freshman from Wallingford, Connecticut, had no idea what major she wanted to pursue. Boudreau was first enrolled in the GW School of Business, but applied to study as a Public Health major once her teammates on the GW Women’s Soccer team introduced her to The Grassroot Project (TGP). “Grassroots introduced me to many public health concerns, and taught me that there are actual solutions to systematic problems, such as HIV/AIDS in DC,” Boudreau explained, “Before Grassroots, I didn’t even know anything about Public Health… Now it’s my major!” Erin was one ofabout thirty students accepted into the Public Health undergraduate program at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, Class of 2017.
Not only did The Grassroots Project point Erin towards her future career goals, it has also taught her skills she will carry with her in all aspects of her life. During Boody’s first program in the Southeast Washington D.C neighborhood of Barry Farms, she recalls being a little nervous and hesitant to take charge during the sessions. However, after quickly understanding that TGP was a place to learn, grow, and teach, Erin was eager for an opportunity to take on more responsibilitiesand become a program head coach. Working with TGP has helped Erin tone her leadership and communication skills, while also providing her with opportunities to learn the behind-the-scenes details of running a non-profit.
As a TGP representative at the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative in Coral Gables, Florida, Erin attended lectures, workshops, skill sessions, and also networked with some of the most renowned global leaders in order to coordinate innovative solutions to some of our world’s biggest challenges. Now, TGP Program Manager, Erin has gained experience recruiting athletes to become coaches, organizing and executing athlete-to-coaches training sessions, and ensuring that all programs run smoothly throughout the semester.
Although being exposed to unique experiences is a huge perk of working with TGP, Boody’s favorite aspect of being a part of our organization is that “it is composed of student-athletes who are committed to their sport and community, and that commitment is translated to their work with TGP. It feels important to be a part of an organization where everyone involved is so passionate about tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic in DC.”
The Grassroot Project takes pride in working with motivated and energetic student-athletes like Erin, who are committed to improving the health and well-being of the local, national, and global community.
By Taylor Katz