A new era in NCAA sports was ushered in this past summer when the new NIL ruling was announced, allowing student athletes to earn money from their name, image, and likeness. Many Boston College student athletes have partnered with a wide variety of organizations since the rule was announced, but one particularly stuck out to us as a partnership that truly embodies the spirit of “men and women for others.”
Margo Carlin, a junior on the field hockey team, decided to partner with Covenant House, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and resources to youth facing homelessness in order to help them get back on their feet. When we heard about this impactful partnership, we reached out to Carlin to hear more about Covenant House, what her partnership entails, and how the greater BC community can support the cause and help her reach her donation goal by the end of this year.
As part of my opportunity to partner with organizations and businesses through NIL, I am very excited to announce my partnership with @CovenantHouse. Covenant House offers housing and supportive services to youth experiencing homelessness and human trafficking.... pic.twitter.com/Kilolwk9W5— Margo Carlin (@_margocarlin) August 5, 2021
Can you talk about what Covenant House does?
Simply put, the mission of Covenant House is to serve homeless youth. These are young people that are living on the street, have aged out of foster care, have survived abusive homes, have endured traumatic childhood experiences and have nowhere to go. They also serve young people that have been victims of human trafficking. It is a very worthy cause. They reach these young people through street outreach, referrals or the homeless just show up at their door. Covenant House provides services that go far beyond housing and include crisis management, mental health care, employment services. They help these young people get back on their feet and live a healthy and productive life. They have 31 locations across 6 countries.
What made you decide to partner with them?
When the NCAA came out with the new NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) ruling, I talked with my parents and we decided to take a different path from what most athletes were doing or just getting a stick sponsorship (which I have). My parents have worked with Covenant House in the past and I thought why not give them a call to see what I can do to help bring awareness to such a great cause? So I called Kevin Ryan, who is the CEO in New York, and he was all about it. They had never really had someone my age do something like this so we thought, “why not give it a try?” Covenant House has always been important to my family so I thought I should get involved. I have had many opportunities in my life and I think it is important to help people that weren’t given the same opportunities as me. One of my favorite parts about Covenant House is that they won’t say no. Anyone that comes to their door, they help and they do it with unconditional love. There are not many organizations out there that will do that.
What does it mean to you to partner with such an impactful organization?
It‘s funny, when I decided to do it, I was not sure where it would go. The support has been awesome and I have been able to work with such great people at Covenant House (Brigid Palcic). In the beginning I had the opportunity to visit the Crisis Center in Philadelphia and sit down and talk to a couple of the youth that were living there. Their stories were overwhelming. The adversity they had to overcome in their young lives hit me hard and when they looked me in the eye and told me Covenant House saved their lives, I knew I was part of something special and I wanted to make an impact even if it was a small one.
What does your partnership entail?
It really has been just a work in progress. I wanted to bring an awareness of homeless youth to my generation and the college field hockey community through social media. I am constantly posting what the issues are and how Covenant House can help end youth homelessness. Every year there are millions of young people that experience some form of homelessness. I was actually shocked at that number. I decided to see if I could raise $25,000 before the end of the semester. I am almost there. We are around $22,000. You can see it here. I would love to get it done by Christmas.
What does it mean to play for BC, as a school that really values public service?
I love everything about BC. I love my coaches, my teammates, my friends, the environment and the commitment to be of service to others. I have the unique opportunity to be part of different communities at BC. I have my field hockey community, I have my classroom community. I have my friendship and social community and I have the BC community as a whole. I get to learn from so many different people. I have learned to not take any of it for granted. It is important for all of us to find a way to give back and/or pay it forward. I am very aware of how fortunate I am and BC has provided me an opportunity to learn what it means to give back.
What has the support been like from BC and how can anyone help?
The support has been awesome. Many people have both donated to my fundraising page or have spread the word on social media. Of course I am always trying to find ways to bring more awareness to this great cause and, as I said previously, I would love to hit my goal of $25,000.
I am one of those people that believes we can always do better. We can always make a difference in someone’s life. We can always make people who haven’t had the same opportunities as us feel loved. I am asking for people to show a little love for young people that have nowhere to go, that have been abused, that can’t go home because it isn’t safe. I believe in people and the power that we have to make a difference and I am always hopeful that change is possible. Covenant House provides love for these young people and love is a very powerful tool.
Thank you SO much to Margo for taking the time to answer our questions! As members of the BC community, if you are interested in helping Margo reach her goal before Christmas, the donation link is here.