Each year we recruit and train hundreds of NCAA varsity athletes to become Grassroots Coaches. Our organization is effective because we have been able to mobilize a generation of promising university student-athletes to get behind our work. After undergoing a 4-day training in curriculum delivery, health literacy, cultural competency, and classroom facilitation skills, our Grassroots Coaches facilitate our school-based and community-based programs. In addition to training our athletes as Grassroots Coaches, we invest in their leadership potential and their cultural competency
Our athletes are not just volunteers at The Grassroot Project– they help drive our day-to-day operations at all levels. As a result of their participation as Grassroots Coaches, many of our athletes have been inspired to pursue careers in the public sector, from going to medical school to entering the Peace Corps and Teach for America. Student-athletes also work in our headquarters, through internships focused on curriculum development, communications, and training.
Each summer, eight to 10 of our athletes are selected for our Master Trainer internship, which focuses on training them to recruit and train their peers to join TGP during the academic year. The internship includes eight weeks of in-depth learning and application, including a 10-day foreign experience where athletes interact with GrassrootSoccer, one of TGP’s original partners.
1,333 athletes have been trained in TGP Programs since 2009
14 trained Master Trainers
“I have student-athletes who are afraid to speak to more than one person at a time, to truly coming out of their shell and gain skills in terms of confidence, communication, and obviously leadership. But more than that, it’s opening their brains. They come from a certain place in their life that’s based on their community, their religion, their parents, their background, and I see how just getting into a different community exposes them to difference. It opens their minds and when I think of the work that Grassroots is doing, it truly is transforming lives. Not just in communities but on our college campuses. It’s making our human beings here better.”
-Tanya Vogel, Director of Athletics at The George Washington University