From Maggie "GI" Girard: one of our newest Grassroot Hoyas!
I have to admit, I was a little skeptical when everyone told me that Grassroots training is really fun. I mean, AIDS games?! Fun?! My own early AIDS education consisted of a video that basically repeated the mantras "DON'T HAVE SEX" and "DON'T MIX BLOOD TO BECOME BLOOD BROTHERS" over and over for 20 minutes (hooray for public schools in the 90s). But the first two days of training were a blast!
A lot of the activities were games that I played in elementary school, and it was really cool to see how they were turned into lessons not only about HIV and AIDS, but about balancing your life, standing up to peer pressure, and making good choices. Sending important messages in such a fun and interactive way makes me feel like a real role model that kids can like and respect, instead of making me seem like some random person sent into schools to terrorize children about STIs.
Also, as an athlete, I love meeting other athletes from different sports and different schools and seeing what kind of experiences we all share. My sport is such an important part of my life, and it's really powerful to be surrounded by people who are as dedicated as I am to their own teams and sports. It's pretty awesome that Grassroots recognizes how special athletes are and how much influence they can have on young students