You may have noticed that our organization is going through some BIG and EXCITING changes: sporting a new name and look and expanding programing to Philadelphia! As we grow, we want to take a moment to spotlight one of our strongest and long-lasting partners: the staff of Hogan Lovells. In addition to being sponsors of our recent Grassroots Gala, they have played a vital role in our expansion to Philadelphia, as well as our rebrand/name change by providing important legal advice. We are so thankful to have service champion partners like Val Delp and Leia Scott from Hogan Lovells, keep reading to learn why they give their time and counsel to Grassroots Health!
What does Hogan Lovells do for Grassroots Health?
Val Delp: We were originally connected with Grassroots Health through Hogan Lovells’s partnership with Fair Chance DC, an organization that selects small nonprofits to provide a unique capacity-building program that strengthens organizational infrastructure and sustainability. Grassroots Health was looking for pro bono legal assistance in connection with their expansion into Philadelphia middle schools. Through Zoom meetings, conference calls and emails, our team helped Grassroots Health navigate a myriad of state and local laws applicable to charitable organizations operating in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.
Leia Scott: After that, an opportunity came up to assist Grassroots Health with its plans to change its name. Along the way, we’ve also assisted on related governance matters and helped Grassroots Health implement best practices as it continues to mature and grow.
Why do you choose Grassroots Health to support through pro-bono work?
Leia: As a former teacher and former student-athlete, I am grateful for the opportunity to support Grassroots Health’s model of educating young students through physical activity. Providing students with positive experiences regarding their overall well-being, while de-stigmatizing certain topics that many tend to shy away from, is crucial to ensuring students grow and develop into well-rounded individuals.
Val: Helping Grassroots Health navigate legal issues means that they have more time to do what they do best—connect with the community and support students through health education and physical activity. It is a pleasure working with a group that is highly motivated to get the best results for the communities that it serves. Grassroots Health’s work is data-oriented, but they aren’t just interested in the numbers. They listen to key school and community stakeholders and respond to their needs. Grassroots Health has a very active and engaged board of directors. This all-volunteer group dedicates their time, talent and resources to Grassroots Health; bringing diverse expertise and experiences to the table.
When you think about Grassroots Health’s future, what are you excited about?
Val: We are thrilled that Grassroots Health will be piloting its curriculum in Philadelphia middle schools in January 2023, in partnership with local colleges and universities. Replicating their program in our city is a great opportunity for our local schools. We can’t wait to see how it will grow!
Leia: The great thing about Grassroots Health’s model is that there is a need for it in schools across the country. I’m excited to see what cities Grassroots Health will impact next!
What has a partnership with Grassroots Health meant to you as an organization and individuals?
Leia: Grassroots Health provides me with the ability to serve students, even if not in the classroom. After attending a lesson and seeing first-hand student-athletes interact with young students about mental health, reaffirmed my desire to be involved with Grassroots Health and assist them in reaching as many students as possible.
Val: Working with Grassroots Health keeps me connected to two communities that I care deeply about—Washington, DC and Philadelphia. After more than two years of the pandemic, our educators need more support than ever. I think that Grassroots Health’s model reflects that it takes a village to lift up young people and teach them the tools to make better decisions for themselves that will help them live healthier lives and prioritize their well-being.