Coming into the Grassroots program I didn’t really know what to expect. I guess I was really excited to meet the college athletes and get the program started. I found training to be rather intimidating. I was expecting there to be more high school interns, but it turned out I wasthe only one! It was intimidating because all of these people were college athletes and I feltrather mediocre compared to them. Most of the athletes had gone to a training session already and knew what to expect. I also felt over dressed in a room full of people in sweats whileI was wearing a skirt, but that’s how I normally dress! They did turn out to be nice people andtraining was fun. We did debriefs of the activities that we would be working on with the kids. We played Choices, Where’s the Ball, Fact/ Nonsense, My Supporters, and a game where people reenacted how your immune system works to protect you and what HIV does to it. They were all fun! Going over those games before actually going into the classrooms really came in handy when I was at my schools and we played them. One of my favorite things about Grassroots is the ‘shout out’ and everyone’s funny nicknames.
Week 1/ Week 2 – Francis and Jefferson
I was excited to start the program, but I was also a little scared about working with middle school, DC public school students! I didn’t grow up in DC but I knew that they could berowdy. Surprisingly, my first session at Jefferson was actually pretty fun, but there were not that many students because of the snow. They were not as badly behaved as I thought. I got to meet my team and I didn’t really feel out of place. I did feel a little awkward at first because I didn’t really know what to do with myself, but my head coach promised to get me more involved the following session. The next week I got to go to my other location, Francis, for the first time; it was also fun. The kids get really into it and it’s nice to see the students who already knew a lot about Grassroots because this was their second time in the program. I’m glad they had a good time while learning. I’m excited for the weeks up ahead.
- Udodi Mary