Mar 20, 2017 | Atlanta, GA
Tierra Clemmons, a residence hall director for the Freshman Experience in Georgia Tech Housing, values moving — herself and others. Currently in her third year at Tech, Clemmons has entrenched herself in positions of leadership, motivation, and motion.
When not serving hundreds of first-year students living on campus or fulfilling her duties as president of Techmasters Club — the local chapter of Toastmasters International at Georgia Tech that focuses on improving the communication skills and leadership abilities of its members — she puts her rubber soles to the pavement and encourages others to follow.
Clemmons volunteers her time outside of work to serve as a captain in a runners club called Movers and Pacers. The Atlanta-based run group, founded in 2013, seeks to motivate the city of Atlanta through running, service work, community building, and influencing the lives of others. Clemmons commits two days a week to run practices with the group’s members and says the experience has been rewarding.
“Honestly, [the group] has done so much for me,” Clemmons said. “It has been where I met my first friends in Atlanta, and where I’ve made such strides in my own fitness goals. What I love about the group is that it’s not about the running for so many. It’s about seeing consistent friendly faces, sharing hugs, and supporting each other in whatever we have going on. The success of the group — in how many people are involved and the things it has accomplished — is a community effort.”
In February, the runners club encouraged kids and families to join in a Black History Run through Atlanta’s historic Sweet Auburn neighborhood. The event is one of her favorites; through participation in previous years, she has learned about some of the city’s historic sites.
That event, however, was not the first time Clemmons used running as a catalyst for educating and motivating youth. Last year, she served two semesters as a coach in Girls on the Run, a nonprofit organization that uses a curriculum-based program to inspire young girls and teach essential life skills. The after-school program uses intentional physical activity incorporated into lessons around negative self-talk, body image, bullying, and other challenging topics a third-to-fifth grade girl might face.
“The opportunity to marry my passions for a healthy lifestyle and helping young girls of color was deeply rewarding,” Clemmons said.
Through Movers and Pacers, Clemmons continued her service work with children earlier this year. By partnering with Solomon’s Temple, a nonprofit, Atlanta-based organization helping homeless women and their children, Clemmons and other members of the run group provided reprieve from the hardships of being without. Service work, she shares, is an ongoing effort of the run group, and serves as a vehicle for building a meaningful membership.
“The point of the group and my involvement in it is not about ‘being the best,’” she said. “Anyone can do their own thing, build their own group. In fact, we encourage and support other members to start their own initiative — something they are passionate about. There is drive in the group to be cultural influencers. What are we doing if not affecting and touching the lives of those around us?”
Clemmons is currently training for her next big run, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, which will take place in Washington, D.C., in April.