Over the years, here, in the United States, women have had it the hardest. From not being able to work certain jobs to not being able to vote. Luckily, women like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and now Madam Vice President Kamala Harris have all been a part of the staircase to change. Women want to be treated equally. They are very powerful, strong, and can do things like give birth to another human being. A woman by the name of Angellica Grayson has proven that women can accomplish anything they put their minds to. When looking over the things she has done, everything she was a part of was always new. By being a part of the “foundation” of all the programs she has helped to build, you can say she has created a name for herself.

“If there are no struggles, there is no progress” is a quote that was written by Frederick Douglass. This quote is something Grayson lives by. When asked, what does this quote means to you, she stated, “If you never experience struggle, you will never really know what it means to progress.” Typically, if you are used to winning it can sometimes be challenging to find a fault when you win. I know I am more appreciative of the journey when I experience a little struggle.

Grayson is an African American female who stands 5 feet and 1 inch tall. She is also a Grambling University Alumnus who pledged to become an A.K.A. (Alpha Kappa Alpha).Currently, she is the Head Women’s Flag Football Coach at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas. Even though she is coaching young women, she is also playing professional women’s tackle football.Grayson plays for the Texas Elite Spartans, part of the WNFC. WNFC (Women’s National Football Conference) is all about reimaging football and empowering women.

As a woman who has been playing football for over 12 years things have not always been so easy. Her rookie year she had to learn a lot, from how to tackle to even doing the simplest thing which is putting on the uniform. While watching her teammates suit up with no problem, she had to face putting on her pants. The uniform pants come with many pieces that are for protection. Having to put them on one by one was a struggle, but she was not going to let that stop her. 

Overcoming the obstacle of the uniform, she was hit hard on the field. After deciding to keep playing after being hit so hard, her greatest accomplishment was “remaining in football when others disagree.” By doing just that, her favorite moment now is when she gets a solo tackle. She gets so many that she has her own celebration which is called ‘Get That’. As a coach, many things she does is based of the inspirations of others who helped her get to where she is now. Coach Gray was her high school coach who always gave the players a quote and asked them “what does this means to you?”

Today, she gives her team a quote to remember each week. She does this simply because she is big on critical thinking. With her family being mainly teachers and coaches, she wanted to go another direction. Somehow, she ended up becoming both. 

“Teaching is like player development,” says Grayson. Every moment is a learning experience and having someone who can help guide you along the way to accomplish your goals in life is someone who Grayson is. As an African American female who understands the struggle and knows how to not let anything being thrown your way stop you, this is her advice to young women.

“F.E.A.R, which stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. There are two things you’re going to do in life. You are either going to face everything and run or face everything and rise.” No matter what comes your way either you are going to let it take you down or stand tall and overcome.

Grayson overcomes, and teaches her players to do the same.

Jerrica Johnson is a Digital Communications Major at the University of Saint Mary.