Friday, May 6, 2011

Udodi's Last Post

My last sessions at the schools were bittersweet. I will miss the good times each site provided. Every child, head coach, and games played showed taught me something new (my personal favorite: Jefferson!). If I could have gone back and changed anything I think I would have preferred to do two sites but on different days, one on Tuesday and Friday. That would have probably allowed me to work with athletes from one of the other partner schools. Despite the things I would have liked to change, in reality everything worked out fine for the most part. The graduation ceremony last week rounded up my semester long internship.
Graduation this year was held at Howard University. There was a buzz about this being something new, and the first time it was held outside of Georgetown. When I arrived to the facilities I was surprised to find everyone in a large gym with blow up games. I thought it was going to be more of an assembly. It was really fun though, and I would have taken that over an assembly any day. The coaches were still able to assemble a time where all the different schools came together and the students shared what they enjoyed and had learned from the program. Head coaches from each site were able to “shout out” their favorite student from their site. As each school arrived they were directed to sign a giant piece of paper saying what they had learned as well, so everyone had a voice.
There were so many kids that I won’t lie, even though I’m a good four years or more older than them they were still intimidating. However, I put my poker face on and helped out wherever I was asked. As a graduation gift the kids received their certificates and goody bags with Grassroot’s t-shirts, some other swag, and encouraging words for the kids . I received my first Grassroot tshirt as well. Tyler was present at this event with a new look and I didn’t reconginize him at first! (He had just returned from Africa looking very tan.) He talked to the kids and thanked them for being a part of Grassroot’s spring semester.
I definitely enjoyed my time with GRP and it has taught me a lot of things. My favorite part of the whole program is its mission. HIV/AIDS is a very important topic that seems to go under the radar, teaching kids about how to protect themselves and all of the stigmas around HIV/AIDS will hopefully reverse the rising rates of infection in the city. It was a great opportunity and I am glad that I got the chance to be this semester’s high school intern for the GRP. Diva had said that the most important part of this program was for the kids to go out and share everything they learned in GRP and I’ll continue to go out and share in my communities what I’ve learned from this program.