SPOTLIGHT: Jane Wallis - student-athlete turned Director of Programs at The Grassroot Project

Jane is from New York and played for Alberston Fury Soccer Club. She graduated from high school in 2010. After an incredible journey through club soccer, and the experience and advice of her club coaches, she chose to attend George Washington University with a combined athletic and academic scholarship. She played GW Varsity D1 soccer for four years and was the captain and leading scorer her senior year. However, it was her experience off the field at GW that truly changed the trajectory of her life.

Jane studied public health and had opportunities through the athletic department to volunteer in true, impact-based community-service with The Grassroot Project, a non-profit organization led by Division 1 student-athletes from 4 DC Universities, and focused on using the platform of sports to teach important health and life skills in DC middle schools. This opportunity opened her eyes to inequities and injustices in the education and health system that affected kids and their ability to succeed academically and athletically.

While studying public health and working for this community non-profit, Jane decided to broaden her perspective and channel these skills into serving abroad. She served 27 months in the US Peace Corps in Zambia, Africa as a rural health volunteer. In her rural Zambian village, Jane learned more about community, family, and love while working on various health projects including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, child nutrition, and malaria. While in Zambia, she realized that her true passion lies in community work rooted in her own community, and she missed working with student-athletes.

Upon her return to DC, she went back to The Grassroot Project and is now the current Director of Programs. In this role, she works with over 200 student-athletes to help them amplify their voices and use skills from the field/court to teach important health topics to kids and their families. She’s able to combine all of her passions into one: college athletics, public health, youth, education.

Read more about Jane on George Washington University's site.

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