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The Groundskeepers receive UVA IDEA Fund grant

Updated: Mar. 10, 2021 at 9:07 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Members of the University of Virginia football team are refusing to sit back and watch history unfold. They want to be a part of the discourse to help change the narrative.

“Changing one person’s life is changing their world,” member of The Groundskeepers and football player Terell Jana said.

Jana and Nick Grant have been instrumental to the Cavaliers’ recent success on the field. They’ve also been vital to the formation of The Groundskeepers, a group created in response to the killings of George Floyd and Breanna Taylor in the summer of 2020.

“What more can we do?” Grant said. “What more can we give to the community? How, how can we further our education to our team?”

The group was formed to engage in deep conversations with each other, but it has grown and taken the step from words, to actions. Actions, that haven’t gone unnoticed in the community.

“If you want to really have equity you need to provide those resources and opportunities, and they’re doing that,” Marcus L. Martin Endorsed Award Chair Cicely Peterson-Mangum said.

The Groundskeepers were this year’s recipient of a $5,000 grant from the UVA IDEA Fund.

“To be bold and courageous and to step out there and to use this as a platform, I think it speaks about volumes to our athletes at the university and it’s important that they recognize that they can be champions for change,” Peterson-Mangum said.

Jana and Grant agree that receiving these funds affirms what the group has been doing, and motivates them to keep pushing forward.

“I’m glad to just hear the message of, ‘we see you guys, we hear you guys, we know and we think that you guys are gonna really get things done and really spread your initiative that to the community of this maintaining our grounds,’” Grant said.

Instead of having to rely on emotions, these funds will help them to further make a change in the lives of others.

“We’re trying to figure out how to do things with just emotional kind of significance because that’s really all we could provide. But now that we have some wiggle room here, we can try some more ambitious projects which everyone’s really excited about,” Jana said.

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