A Summer with KABOOM!

September 8, 2023

This summer, KABOOM! had the privilege of hosting a University of Delaware Biden Institute summer intern, Grace Mahony. Grace is beginning her junior year this fall at the University of Delaware at Wilmington, where she double majors in Public Policy and Economics.

Grace played an integral role in our policy and advocacy work this summer, which provided her an opportunity to learn about the issue of playspace inequity, how it disproportionally impacts Black and Brown communities across the country, and why addressing this gap is critical to achieving better health outcomes for children and higher quality neighborhoods for their families.

From helping put together a KABOOM! service project with the members of the President’s Council for Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition to playing a critical role during our Capitol Hill Fly In with family members of the victims at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Grace’s enthusiasm and commitment to our critical mission helped make this summer an impactful one for KABOOM! and the communities we partner with.

Read below, as Grace shared reflects on her experience as a Boomer:

Nia and Grace

As a summer intern at KABOOM!, I had the incredible opportunity to work closely with the Department of Public Policy and Advocacy and the Office of the CEO as they work to raise public and government awareness of playspace inequity. During my time at KABOOM!, I participated in advocacy efforts – including a reception for the members of the President’s Council for Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition as well as a “Hill Day” with community members from Uvalde, Texas. Each of these events deepened my understanding of the importance lobbying conducted by nonprofit organizations and how influential their efforts can be in setting government policy agendas. To this end, I was taught how to write informative policy briefs for specific audiences, conduct research into legislation, identify candidates for fruitful advocacy discussions, evaluate possible partnerships and future event plans, and more.

Recently, I have been working with Rob Mayer, Associate Director of Public Policy and our communications team to design plans to rally support for the Living Schoolyards Act, which if passed will permit the Secretary of Education to provide funding grants for public schools in order to create sustainable, educational, and recreational green spaces on their campuses. This bill will help many communities increase access to outdoor education and recreation for their children, combatting playspace inequity while also supporting environmental conservation and sustainability efforts. My time with KABOOM! has drastically and positively influenced my understanding of the incredible work conducted by KABOOM! while simultaneously honing career skills that I hope to apply to my future endeavors. This experience has been an unparalleled opportunity to work with an amazing group of people and contribute to a truly impactful mission.