SAAC reaches out to world community
April 14, 2011
The mission of The University of Texas is, simply, to change the world. Professor Darlene Grant answered that heed by venturing out into the world itself.
Grant, a UT social work professor, is currently serving with the Peace Corps in Battambang, Cambodia at the Young Bamboo Shoots Squatter School, and she also organized her young students, ranging from 2-14 years of age, into kickball teams for fun and for cultural exchange.
To help in this teaching process, Grant reached back to her ties on the Forty Acres, and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) answered. The Longhorns hold themselves accountable to bettering the community, and the world, and recently took time to reach out to Grant’s mission.
“Sports, team spirit, sportsmanship and learning -- I know my heart was full of anticipation for the day,” Grant said. “You can only imagine their faces of surprise when we gave them T-shirts from The University of Texas.”
SAAC members decorated signs and also shipped T-shirts for the Cambodian students to wear during their kickball practices and game.
“It’s a great opportunity to support the children and to see them to wear the same kind of T-shirts that we wear proudly, and to see them with the signs we made,” Men’s Golf junior Adam Wennerstrom said. “We’re changing the world a small bit at a time.”
Many of the young children had to learn the language of sport, especially acts like high-fives.
“With so many kids who get very little attention in their everyday life, I guess it was just a privilege to get the ball and actually play,” Grant said.
Grant joined the UT faculty in 1994 and became an associate professor in the School of Social Work and an associate dean of graduate studies. She was named 2006 Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers.
During that time, she has mentored many UT student-athletes, and is known as a compassionate teacher who is both respected and respectful. Grant’s involvement with the Cambodia mission made this an even more impactful endeavor for SAAC members.
“It is an inspiration for us to give our support to these children and send our Longhorn love around the world,” Football’s Fozzy Whittaker said.