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Solo Grey '21

Football player strives to be servant leader

When Solo Grey '21 learned about the Wai'anae-to-Whitworth scholarship program for Native Hawaiians, he knew he had to look into attending Whitworth University. After taking a campus tour and finding out more about Whitworth's football program, he was sold.

"I saw an open door with the Wai'anae-to-Whitworth program, and I grabbed it," Grey says. "On the tour, I was exposed to Whitworth football's vision and mission. That helped solidify my decision in becoming a part of the Wai'anae-to-Whitworth program."

Grey values his identity as a student-athlete and is passionate about being a criminology & criminal justice major.

"One of my other passions is to become a good leader," he says. "And I believe that to be a good leader, you have to be a good servant."

He aims to do so through serving on a chapel worship team. Grey plays the drums in the Hosanna service on campus and is also a drummer for his church. He sees his faith as integral to his approach to leadership roles.

"It is through humility and an attitude of service that you encourage others to follow," he says. "Being an athlete should not be any different."

Grey looks to his coach, Rod Sandberg, for models of leadership.

"Each year, our coach has a theme for what we are working toward," Grey says. "This year, it was 'All My Love.' When I reflect on this theme, it speaks to me about being part of a family I will give everything to support. We are a family in which when one is hurting, we all hurt."

The close relationships in his football family are important to him. "We not only bond spiritually, but we also motivate, inspire and support each other," he says. "We work hard to encourage, and really emphasize, the true meaning of 'team.'"

This past season, Grey played alongside several other Waianae-to-Whitworth recipients from his high school football team. "It's a privilege to play with each and every one of them on the next level," he says.

He recognizes growth within those teammates and himself.

"Whitworth has shown me different perspectives that solidified my faith," he says. "It also challenged me as a Christian to really reflect on the word of God. I believe that I have come to learn how to pray for my needs, draw closer to God, and 'lean not on my own understanding, but trust in him.'"

In reflecting on the scholarship that brought him here, Grey sees a great opportunity he hopes others will continue to utilize.

"I am proud to be a recipient of the Wai'anae-to-Whitworth program," he says. "I hope that it can continue to inspire other kids in my community."


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