07.10.19 / Communities

Samsung Employee Helps Dream Big! Broaden Access to Girls’ Sports

Samsung Senior Legal Counsel Rachel Harris’s love for athleticism extends beyond her personal rigorous exercise regimen. In between her challenging marathon training, spin classes and yoga sessions, she makes time to volunteer and encourage girls to empower themselves through athletic activity.

Rachel Harris Day of Service 2018
Rachel Harris, Senior Legal Counsel for Samsung Electronics America (middle) referees an America Scores! soccer game during Samsung’s Day of Service in 2018.

That’s why when Samsung introduced the employee-driven Community Impact Grant program, she quickly worked to nominate a charity supporting the mission she holds dear – Dream Big! – a non-profit organization that works to breakdown the economic barriers that prevent girls from low-income situations from participating in sports and physical activities that contribute to their health, education and overall well-being. Dream Big! provides girls in underserved communities with equipment, sports attire, program fees and leadership training.

“No parent should have to decide between paying the electric bill or buying their daughter a pair of sneakers or the equipment needed so she can participate on a team and live a healthy active life,” said Linda Driscoll, Founder, President and CEO of Dream Big!, and Harris agrees.

“Participating in athletics has been a constant in my life, and has helped me learn to believe in myself and stay strong in challenging or uncertain times,” explained Harris. “I know that I’m able to be a confident and effective lawyer because of the early and varied opportunities I had to participate in and learn about athletics. I want all young girls to have these same opportunities to build confidence, learn to work as a team, and begin a lifelong path of healthy choices.”

Over the past 10 years, Dream Big! has helped fund equipment, sports attire, athletic footwear and program fees for some 42,000 girls and young women, across half the U.S. and a half-dozen countries. Photos courtesy of Dream Big!

Harris was especially excited that the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team won their fourth World Cup Title earlier this month and said she hopes the hype and support for the team will ripple down and encourage more young girls and women to get out there and play sports.

As a result of Harris’s nomination, the Massachusetts-based Dream Big! received a $1,000 grant, enough to pay for uniforms for an entire girls’ sports team.

Over the past 10 years, Dream Big! has helped fund equipment, sports attire, athletic footwear and program fees for some 42,000 girls and young women, across half the U.S. and a half-dozen countries.

Harris also has plans to continue to support the organization’s mission beyond the Community Impact Grant funds.

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“Dream Big!’s mission of helping girls and young women from underserved communities get involved with sports is so important to me, and that’s why I’m so excited about the opportunity to use the Boston Marathon next year as a way to help raise awareness and money for what they do,” said Harris. “I am so grateful that Samsung encourages and supports its employees to do what they love – both inside and outside the office. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to make a larger impact on the charities I support!”

Rachel Harris NYC Marathon 2018
Rachel Harris at Mile 17 of the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2018. Harris is now training to run the 2020 Boston Marathon in support of Dream Big!; Photo courtesy of Jeff Keesing

“It takes a village to empower girls and young women,” Driscoll said. “We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers, sponsors and donations like Samsung’s Community Impact Grant. They’re all crucial to our success.”

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