WASHINGTON – Several members of the Gallaudet University men's and women's track and field team came together and turned their attention from running, to the community. On November 8, head coach Mikaela Gardner took her student-athletes to the Covenant House in southeast Washington, D.C., where they donated three boxes of clothes, winter jackets and shoes to the youth served by Covenant House.
The Covenant House was established in 1995 with the profound mission to help homeless kids escape the streets. Covenant House is the largest privately funded charity in the Americas providing loving care and vital services to homeless, abandoned, abused, trafficked and exploited youth.
Four student-athletes spent the day at Covenant House touring the facility and enjoying lunch with several of the youth at the center. Team Captains Kaneesha Stallworth and Vianney Boum Yamb were amongst those who attended. Team leaders Bianca Hardin and John Issacson served as great ambassadors for the track program as they accompanied their captains. Stallworth was very moved by her experience with the youth at the Covenant House.
"I was inspired, they were like family. I didn't expect to make such fast friends. The connections we made were the best possible outcome; it was great socializing and getting to know them. We invited them to come visit us at Gallaudet, I hope they come. We will welcome them just as they welcomed us," Stallworth said.
Just like his teammate, Issacson's experience at the Covenant House was very inspirational.
"Going to the shelter was a unique experience for me. I was very inspired to see how the program helps so many young people," Issacson said.
The time spent at Covenant House was eye opening for the athletes who attended. They walked away with a new sense of thankfulness learning to appreciate what they have.