Meet Sarah Frazier the new International Fellow reflecting on her first few weeks at PeacePlayers International- South Africa and sharing her background.
I feel as though my fellowship opportunity down here in SA was somewhat meant to be. My original interest in joining PeacePlayers began over 10 years ago shortly after I started working at Google. At that time, I made the decision to stay in NYC & continue working at Google, but things came full circle about a year ago, when I learned about a unique opportunity which I took as a sign that now was my time to become a PeacePlayer and join the team down here in South Africa.
I recently joined PeacePlayers-South Africa as a Senior International fellow – but before I jump into my first impressions & experience during my first few weeks here, I wanted to share a little bit of background about myself, also found in my bio on the website.
“Sarah grew up in Hadley, Massachusetts, and graduated from Cushing Academy in 1999, where she played basketball, soccer, and softball. Sarah attended Connecticut College in New London, CT, where she played basketball for four years, captaining the team her senior year & achieving NESCAC all academic status during her sophomore year.
Prior to joining PeacePlayers, Sarah worked at Google for ~11 years, where she held roles across many different parts of the organization including their e-commerce & large customer advertising sales group as well as on the Global Marketing & Business Development team, spending time in 3 office locations (NYC, San Francisco, & most recently, Boston). Her work on the Global Marketing & Development team at Google sparked her interest in international travel & opportunities to work in a more global capacity. As a Senior Fellow, Sarah will be focused on working with the PeacePlayers South Africa Leadership team across various aspects of organizational development, business & programming strategies, fundraising/marketing, & local staff mentorship/development. She loves watching any and all sporting events live or on television and is a die-hard Notre Dame fan.”
And now for my initial thoughts during my first 3 weeks down here in Durban:
During my first 2 weeks down here in Durban programming was not in-session which gave me some time to get settled and also meet the local staff, coaches, and area coordinators I will be working with over the next year. I attended a great PDP training session lead by Ntobeko & our team of strong coaches. It was also helpful to see the preparation that goes into planning for the kickoff of a new semester of programming sessions.
Last week was definitely a highlight for me to see the PPI-SA programming in action, making my first trip to Umlazi, one of the largest townships we work with here in SA. Umlazi did not disappoint and I was thrown right into the mix with the kids, coaches, and local staff upon arrival at the courts for my first extravaganza experience. Seeing the integration of life skills as well as basketball skills practice was the highlight for me. And for a good laugh please have a look at this video where bill tong and I participated in one of the ice breakers w the kids where you had work together with someone from another school/team at the extravaganza to carry a basketball down and back without using your hands at all. Required communication & coordination w/ your partner that’s for sure! All of this was topped off w/ a “Zulu Burger”, more technically referred to as a “gwinya” locally here in SA.
This week I have started to meet with more school site leads to be introduced to management staff, including Glenmore & Durban Primary Schools. I feel fortunate to be joining such a great team of people & look am looking forward is what is to come & opportunities for me to add value to the programs here in SA & continue working closely with the staff & leadership team!