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This past summer, I interned with Underdogs United. Underdogs United works to promote sustainability and global stewardship through the lens of sport. In my role of business development, I helped to form partnerships with professional athletes to get involved in our Global Jersey Exchange program. In the Global Jersey Exchange, pro athletes are donating jerseys to be auctioned off in support of clean drinking water initiatives in Kenya. In return, they receive a hand-made, Kenyan-style jersey. In August, I traveled to Kenya to help facilitate the Global Jersey Exchange and meet with Impact Water, a social business that focuses on not only providing clean drinking water to schools, but also making sure that their models are sustainable. While in Kenya, we also worked on a video series where we interviewed various athletes of different levels to learn about how sport has impacted their lives.

This experience helped me to see first-hand the impact I was able to make. Not only did we hear about Impact Water, but we actually got to go meet with them and tour one of their beneficiary schools to see how clean water affects real children. It was eye-opening and an incredible learning experience. I also got to see how sport connects people across the globe and how sport can be used to promote positive change.

This experience was unlike any class I’ve taken before. Everything I learned in this internship was completely new to me. However, it inspired me to take more classes on sustainability moving forward in my academic career.

I learned how truly important sustainability is, not just in sports, but across all sectors of life. I also learned how global connections are so important in improving the lives of both people and our planet. After graduation, I plan on going into sports management, and this internship has really piqued my interest in sustainability in American sports. I am highly considering looking for careers in the sustainability institutes of professional sports leagues.