“We have been building for this moment for years: doubling the size of our program staff. This move is essential to the success of TGP’s programming here in D.C. and the growth of the organization long term. We are excited to add Treniyyah and Lara’s fresh, innovative, and passionate voices to help our team be more efficient and effective. I cannot wait to watch them grow in their roles and continue amplifying the voices of our students, teachers, parents, and volunteers.” – Jane Wallis, Director of Programs
“I am so excited to have Treniyyah and Lara joining the team! Treniyyah brings a critical perspective and passion for health equity and youth empowerment that will continue to push TGP programs to new heights. Her confident, calm energy is magnetic. I know we’ll be hearing “Trigga Tre!” from the halls of middle schools, in training with student-athletes, and Grassroot Fam sessions very soon!
As a former TGP Coach, Lara (aka Larabar) is going to bring important context as she moves into this role on staff. Her passion for the DC community, strength in communicating health messaging, and electric energy will shine as she takes on this Program Coordinator role. As an organization that was built by NCAA student-athletes, I am excited to see Lara move into this role on staff and continue to strengthen our programs, both in schools with youth and will families and caregivers.” – Mackenzie Jones, Program Manager
Getting to know Treniyyah & Lara:
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Treniyyah: I am a funny, charismatic scholar with a passion for youth empowerment, food and sports. I grew up in Philadelphia and can attribute a lot of my passion and swag to growing up in the city. My grit and curiosity enabled me to pursue higher education at Duke University and abroad experiences in different cities and countries (feel free to ask me about them). I have the natural tendency to immerse myself in a myriad of cultures for fun, learning purposes. As mentioned above, I love food and eating. I spend my free time making eclectic dishes that hold no limitations: from stews originating along the West Coast of Africa to recipes with a hint of Korean BBQ. I have a very easy-going, adventurous and responsible personality that is relatable and cool to be around!
Lara: What’s up party people – my name is Lara and I am one of TGP’s newest Program Coordinators! I am a 2021 GW grad from the women’s rowing team where I was able to participate with TGP as a head coach in sexual health and nutritional health programs, connect with the broader DC community at TGP Fam nights, and represent (along with some TGP legends) TGP at the American School Health Association Conference in 2020. I was born and raised in Northern Virginia; always having felt a connection to DC and imagining how I could fit in to all of the incredible work happening all around me. I have a deep passion for community organizing and feel my interests align well with TGP’s mission of advancing health equity in the US. In addition, I love to dance salsa with my family, go to the beach, and read books about Latin America!
We’re all about praising and celebrating each other for a job well done. We call these “shout-outs.” If you could give a shout-out to anyone right now, who would it be and why?
Treniyyah: Mackenzie: for having a warm and funny personality that made the first week of TGP very welcoming and easy.Jane: for being so open in conversations allowing me to know more about her outside of work. You are humorous and I love it.Alex aka Small Fry: for having the best nickname (I think, its just so cute lol!!) but also taking the time to talk and give me insight about the job. Also, for sharing some parts about herself (we have some things in common)RJ: for being down-to-earth and very supportive in making sure I have any questions answered relating to neighborhoods/housing, health insurance and DC culture.Tyler: during the interview, Tyler spoke in Tshivenda (SA language) which made me feel good and reminded me of my time in the Village.Lara: for having an AWESOME personality and just being herself. I look forward to working with her more and getting to know her inside and outside of work.
Lara: I would like to give a shout out to Treniyyah (aka Trigga Tre) for hitting the ground running with TGP and bringing a new, valuable perspective from her past experiences working in Alaska and being a Philly native! I am super excited to learn more about her shoe game and have her teach us all a thing or two on the basketball court! Let’s give Trigga Tre a shOOooOOut OUT!
What are you most excited about in this Program Coordinator role?
Treniyyah: I am most excited about adding any insight to the program that would help encourage TGP mission and values. More specifically, I am excited to get more teachers/educators and parents involved with programming. I cannot wait to meet facilitators, students, parents and any other body of folks that make up the program. Overall, I just want to share my personality and be a team player that encourages a fun, informative and empowering program.
Lara: I am most excited to broaden TGP’s impact within DC and get to personally form lasting, impactful relationships with all of those involved in making the DC community/education sphere a safe, empowering environment for all students, no matter their background. The Program Coordinators will be crucial in maintaining TGP’s success thus far and help evolve the organization to be at the forefront of equitable health education in DC.
What are your career aspirations?
Treniyyah: My main career aspirations are to…
– Create a youth-empowerment community center that is culturally-relevant to Black and brown students in Philly
– Obtain my degree in either Nursing or Epidemiology (focus on Mental Health in Urban cities)
– Establish a Black-owned coffee shop that introduce unique coffee and my recipes
Lara: In the future, I hope to keep learning about how to best advocate for the communities from which I find myself in and feel most passionate about, while standing up for all people who are currently being actively marginalized. Having been raised puertorriqueña in the DMV, I aspire to be a champion for social justice within a community that will make strides to impact generations for the better. While I cannot say what I will be doing in twenty, thirty years, I am certain I will be in some way advocating for what I feel to be just.
Which curriculum do you feel most excited about? And why?
Treniyyah: I am honestly excited for all of the curriculum because they are equally important for the youth, and I have interest in each of the three topics, either personally or career-wise. However, for the sake of the question, I will say I am most excited about the Mental Health curriculum. I would love to get insight on how students and facilitators feel regarding topics discussed and uncover things that are specific to growing up in D.C.
Lara: I am most excited about the mental health curriculum following a massive and impressive curriculum overhaul done by the Athletes United for Social Justice Curriculum Committee (shout out!) and TGP staff. With new games, updated resources, and critical conversations, the latest mental health curriculum truly stands at the nexus between the work TGP has done so far and the role TGP can have as an organization moving through and past the era of a pandemic where students, caretakers, and educators were all forced to grapple with an unusual, frightening reality. As the culminating program in the TGP pipeline, the mental health curriculum ties in all aspects of health promotion advocated for within all three curricula and best helps empower students with the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their communities.
What is your favorite thing about DC, or what are you most excited about doing in DC?
Treniyyah: I am most excited about being a sponge in DC. There is a diverse culture in each neighborhood that I would love to explore since I am not native to the city. I have a fresh pair of eyes for everything.
Lara: Both readily available and affordable, my favorite thing to do in DC is explore the museums! While my personal favorites include the Hirshhorn and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, I have tons of places I need to check out such as the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. I am for certain most excited about exploring more museums in the future as new exhibitions continue to be curated and displayed to showcase the everchanging impact history and culture can have.
If you could join any college sports team in DC, which one would you choose and why?
Treniyyah: I would join Howard’s Softball team. I enjoyed playing softball in high school and want to participate again. Also, I always wanted to attend an HBCU and get the feel of an all women-of-color sporting space like in high school.
Lara: Well besides the obvious answer of the GW Women’s Rowing team, as they are objectively the coolest team to exist on this side of the Milky Way, I would like to join either the AU Cheerleading team or the Howard Women’s Lacrosse team considering both teams seem like they have a ton of fun and a lot of super incredible TGP coaches come from those teams!
As a part of our continued growth, TGP sends a warm welcome to Treniyyah and Lara!