Anna Aagenes is the executive director of GO! (Generation Out) Athletes, the first national LGBTQ support group for student-athletes. The organization launched in 2008 under the name “Our Group,” with the mission to educate and empower athletes to respect all team players, coaches, and staff regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. GO! received its official nonprofit status in December 2012, “allowing us to fundraise and publicize our message so we can better reach student athletes all across the country,” Aagenes says.
Aagenes’s passion for sports and activism was fostered in college, where she acted as team captain of the Women’s Track and Field Team at the University of Pennsylvania and the co-chair of PATH (Penn Athletes and Allies Tackling Heterosexism and Homophobia). She was also chair of the QSA (Queer Student Alliance), the largest LGBT undergraduate group at Penn.
Aagenes recently took on another new challenge, working with State Representative Brian Sims
, the first openly gay legislator in Pennsylvania. Her responsibilities include managing the Philadelphia office by overseeing constituent services, fostering and building organizational relationships, and directing community outreach and engagement. Aagenes says the task of getting people more involved in local government is challenging, but worthwhile.
“Having a job that is so dynamic and one where I am able to help people is a perfect fit for me: I get to wake up every day knowing that I get to serve my community and interact with many types of people,” Aagenes says. “Being able to assist a neighbor with a trouble or concern is undoubtedly the most rewarding part of my day.”
What’s next for Aagenes? Her answer is somewhat cryptic.
“The next big project and announcement you will see from us will come from the network of student-athletes we have been working with from all across the country,” she says.Follow Anna Aagenes here.
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