We at Grassroots were so excited to welcome Jane Wallis, AKA J-Dub, as our new Director of Programs last month! We sat down with Jane for a quick Q&A to learn more about her.
What are you most looking forward to this year with Grassroots?
I am most looking forward to contributing to the TGP team this year. The work environment is incredible, with passionate and smart individuals and a base of athletes that are so committed to the cause. I am incredibly lucky to work with the people next to me and I hope to contribute as much to the team as I can.
What’s your favorite Grassroots memory?
My favorite Grassroots memory was my first every program as a TGP athlete. I was intimidated by the group of 6th graders and unsure about my skills as a facilitator, but immediately understood why I was there when the first kid opened their eyes wide and said, “are you really going to come back again next week?”
Why did you join Grassroots?
Honestly, I joined Grassroots because older girls on my team told me that we should all join together; my whole freshman class went to training – and we all continued doing programs for 4 years.
What do you love most about Grassroots?
I love the Grassroots community of student-athletes. We come from different schools, sports, backgrounds, etc. but we all have the same goal. I loved getting to meet different athletes and I’m thankful I have the opportunity to come back and get to know an entirely new generation of athletes.
What’s your favorite Grassroots game?
Favorite Grassroots game is a tough question, I think in the schools I love HIV attacks because it really is the BEST way to explain what HIV does to your body – a complicated idea that many adults struggle with. But my all-time favorite training game is Cat&Mouse because I love the competitive spirit that comes out in every athlete as they strategize to keep the cats away.
Where are you from?
I am a proud New Yorker, who certainly has an affinity for pizza and bagels.
What’s the most motivational/inspiring thing anyone has ever said to you?
A lot of really great people have said some really motivational things to me over the years, but I think this simple statement resonated the most with me: “Hello, can build a village” – I think this can mean a lot of things, but the reason it resonates with me is because it reminds me that we can all be productive in our community if we care to. If you can say hello, if you can show up, if you can try, then you can contribute to the community and build a village. Let’s face it, we all need a village, we all need support and we all want to belong. But every single one of us also contributes to that same community, and it starts with recognizing this involvement, it starts with a “hello.”
Who do you most look up to and why?
I look up to A LOT of people, I’m 5 ft 2 in tall… but I guess, I look up to my dad because of his ability to look at all situations impartially.
Dunkin’ or Starbucks?
Neither – I love a good home-made coffee with my French press
If you could go back in time and tell your freshman self one thing, what would it be?
If I went back to freshman year, I think I would tell myself to chill out and enjoy the ride. Ambition is important, school work is important, sports are important, but nothing is more important than enjoying yourself and those around you.
What’s the strangest subject you know a lot about?
Strangest subject I know the most about is probably the social lives of Manchester City soccer players through insta-gram stalking.