Jocelyn West

I am a member of the class of 2013 at Brown, and for my last summer as an undergraduate, I have received the Royce Sport and Society Fellowship.  I am so grateful for the chance to pursue an adventure that has, until now, been but a lifelong dream.  I will spend most of my summer in the Commonwealth of Dominica, a Caribbean island country of about 70,000 people.  I was born on the island 20 years ago while my father was in medical school at Ross University.  I have always sought a way to return to Dominica and make my dual citizenship more meaningful.  My experiences at Brown in Geological Science, Education Studies, and Olympism along with varsity track and field have given me the tools to do just that.  I will be working with the Dominica Olympic Committee to pilot a national Youth Role Model Corps designed to promote the Olympic Values among youth athletes.  I will begin by familiarizing myself with this vibrant and unique culture to understand the attitudes surrounding sport and education.  I can provide some level of expertise to current coaches about the underrecognized mental and emotional aspects of athletics.  Ultimately, as coach of a youth athletics clinic, I hope to give Dominica's youth a structured opportunity for healthy development that is absent of the drugs, violence, and other negative influences present on the streets, especially when children are not in school.  Critics argue that sports can also lead to negative experiences and poor life choices for youth athletes.  I certainly do not advocate that sports are inherently good; however, sport is always a powerful way to bring people together for a common interest.  When applied in the right way, sport becomes an incredible tool for educating people with regard to other important life issues.  That is the premise of my project in Dominica, and I hope you enjoy sharing in my discoveries along the way.