In Their Own Words: @GW_Sailing's Gabriella Malek on #FreshmanDayOfService

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This post was written by GW Sailing senior Gabriella Malek

This past Saturday Freshman across the GW campus came together to take part in service projects throughout the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas in the eighth annual Freshman Day of Service. I was able to witness first hand the amazing impact these students made on their community. 

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All student-athletes took part in their own program, which not only produced community service, but also helped them build a sense of community within the Athletic Department. These freshman student-athletes took part in training with the Grassroot Project, an initiative that utilizes sports and Division I athletes to educate at-risk youth in the community about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

The District of Columbia has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the United States, with approximately five percent of the population being affected. The Grassroot Project partners with over 40 sites across the city to deliver these key messages to at-risk youth.

The GW student-athletes went through day one of a four-day training program, aimed at educating student athletes about the project and the curriculum which they will in turn teach in local schools. Not only did the student-athletes have fun while going through training, but they also learned a valuable lesson - they can utilize their voice and position as a student-athlete to make a difference in their community and have a positive impact on the development and success of adolescents in Washington D.C. We are excited to welcome our new Grassroot coaches at the end of September and are thrilled to see what this year brings for the program! 

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