Chicago Red Stars Announce 2022 #SHEINSPIRESME Award Winners
Chicago, Ill. (July 10, 2022) – The Chicago Red Stars named Nina Rouse and Grace Carman as winners of the 2022 #SHEINSPIRESME award, an annual award presented to women who exemplify leadership, practice social responsibility, and inspire and uplift their community.
Rouse, this year’s winner of the adult category, is an inspiration to the students and faculty at Muskego High School. When there were only men’s teams for certain sports, Nina fought to start a women’s team for those sports. Her drive for equality and to support all students lead her to create a Women of Will leadership program, which helps females overcome obstacles, whether mental, physical or rooted in society's expectations. Standing up for others and giving them the confidence to stand up for themselves is what makes the athletes want to embody those same characteristics. The goal of Women of Will is to strengthen and improve female athlete participation by promoting teamwork, building an interconnection between female athletes, sharing resources and inspiring one another to make a difference. Nina is not only an excellent example of sportsmanship as a coach, but she is a true leader amongst her peers.
“Creating opportunities and inspiring young females to participate in athletics is what drives me. The dropout rate of pre-college female student-athletes is 2x the rate of their male peers. Making it a priority to create change in the way people see females in the world of athletics, including how these athletes view themselves is an important part of creating change. Winning this award is an honor, it validates that you can make a difference,” said Rouse
Carman, the winner of the youth category, has been involved in soccer for over a decade. The Chicago public school rising sophomore’s love for the game as a player helped her develop into a leader on and off the field. Over the past year, Grace has become an integral part of the teams she is on. Her tenacity and dedication led her to fundraise money for Girls Soccer Worldwide, which helps to provide opportunities for girls around the world to play the beautiful game of soccer. Grace has represented her club, school and state in an exemplary manner. She is a true leader that inspires others not with her own achievements but through opportunity.
“I love soccer and it has given me so many great opportunities, friendships, and lessons that I will hold on to. So my inspiration was to help girls who might not have the opportunity to play and get the chance to love the sport. This award is a huge honor to receive, it pushes me to continue to help grow the community. But mostly I hope it inspires others to help,” said Carman
The two winners were recognized during a celebration at halftime during the Chicago Red Stars match against the North Carolina Courage. The winners received a #SHEINSPIRESME commemorative plaque, a grant to continue their work in the community donated from the CRS Cares Foundation and tickets to the 2023 Chicago Red Stars home opener or a match of their choosing. To learn more about the winners, please visit www.chicagoredstars.com/sheinspiresme.