An in & out to Bluffton University in 24 hours w boxer, Eric Kelly & hip hop artist, Archie Green. The first non D1 NCAA school we’ve visited…& big credit goes to a leader in their athletic dept, James Grandey.
He’s a leader bc – despite seeing schools like Cornell, Michigan, USC, Indiana & some of the largest programs in the country having us out, his thought was: why not us?
James picked us up at the airport in Detroit, yesterday. We drove nearly 2 hours to Bluffton. Small towns, lots of farms, lots of flat lands. Bluffton has one main restaurant (we ate at after the event ), it was snowing & they knew the guys driving the snow plows in the streets by first name. The gym we presented in was not much bigger than your average HS gym.
All of that said, the experience was incredible. A small school, a small community, but our CHALLENGES are the SAME. Life affects us ALL, #5in5.
We take these group #SameHere🤙 pics at the end of each session, but my favorite pics are becoming the ones that a) show the student engagement during the program when our presenters are being vulnerable & genuine, & b) when the students come up to each of the presenters afterwards to ask questions about their own situations in greater detail.
Safe spaces are created when we share – & whether that helps the audience connect just by listening, by asking a question in front of their peers, or one-on-one afterwards (& often even through DM on social media), it lets us know those safe spaces have helped others to open up, see things from a different angle, & even start to share.
Thank you Bluffton for showing that – no matter where we live, no matter our background, no matter the size or amenities of the venue, this is an issue that applies to us ALL & that we ALL must talk about. Looking forward to bringing the “Beavers” SAAC group into the #SameHere🤙 Student Alliance & helping them to keep the convo going on campus now that the foundation has been laid through the Sit-Down!