By Olivia Nicoletti and Dylan Manfre
When James Green hears the word “inspiration,” he immediately associates it with his mother, Jenna Childs.
“My mom and I’s relationship is something valued heavily because I understand the hardships my mom was faced with growing up. It fills my heart every time I hear her telling me that she’s proud, every time I see her smile and every time I can send her an accomplishment — it’s something that she deserves,” Green said.
She returned the favor and recently shipped all of Green’s high school and college medals to him at school, which he said were a huge source of inspiration.
The junior sports media major and captain of the track team keeps pushing for success because of the constant love and support his mother gave him growing up. Originating from Baltimore, Green recognizes the struggles of those who surrounded him. There were times he had to put family over friends. Green worked at McDonald’s to support his mother around the age of 15, which he believed held him back.
“Sometimes you have to choose family over yourself and that always influenced my decision just wanting to get out and not wanting to be in that environment anymore,” Green said. “And my mom was the one that made me feel more comfortable about following my dream, following the things that I’m passionate about.”
Running since he was a freshman at Dulaney High School, he has learned to love the individual component of the sport. The credit is earned solely based on how each athlete performs and everyone is held to their responsibility.
His goal is to push his teammates to do their best and inspire them as they have done for him. Now as team captain, it makes the job a lot easier.
“I love stepping up and if there’s ever an opportunity where somebody needs to step up, I try to be that guy,” Green said. “I’m the one that you can always count on to be extra and go above and beyond.”
Green has been a member of the 4×400 meter relay team, which set a Rider record of 3:14.40 during the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) meet at Boston College in March 2019.
Head Coach Bob Hamer said that Green has that “it factor” to his persona.
“He’s someone I think other people are drawn to when he carries himself in real life and athletics,” Hamer said. “I think that’s something that some people have and that’s one of the special traits and qualities that James has.”
Hamer knew Green was a good fit immediately because he took initiative and found ways around obstacles. He said Green had car trouble on his way to the official visit but never had the thought of rescheduling. He was determined to get to Rider somehow.
“In my opinion, the best athletes are the people that understand there are obstacles, but they figure out ways around them,” Hamer said. “His goal was to get to Rider for his official visit, he was going to figure out a way to get there, whether he had to take another car, train, bus, whatever it was, he was going to figure out a way to get there, and he wasn’t going to use anything as an excuse.”
He has also had the chance to connect on a personal level with Brett Harvey, the assistant coach of the track team. They both attended the same high school in Baltimore, so Harvey understood the atmosphere that Green came from. Harvey is described to be Green’s biggest inspiration during his time at Rider.
“He helped me, he worked with me and was patient with me. He was always there when I was going through something difficult, like tough times with family, financially tough times, whatever it was: I can never say that he wasn’t there. He’s the reason I’m here; because of all the work that he’s put in to help me get to where I am today,” Green said.
Green not only has access to leadership through sports, but he also enforces his leadership by his involvement in an array of organizations. He gained the position of president of Rho Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, a multicultural fraternity on campus. He is also vice president of the poet’s club, along with playing a major role as a peer mentor and peer counselor. He also is a part of the Student Entertainment Council (SEC) where he gets to plan events and takes passion in bringing them to life.
Green never expected to be as involved as he is now when he got to Rider, however, each organization correlated back to his passions. He was introduced to the poet’s club after he performed a poem on the Black Lives Matter movement following an event where he amazed an audience of people at a talent show during Welcome Week of his freshman year. The club then reached out and his involvement grew larger. Green can showcase his creative side with his duties as a member of the SEC, loving that he can show people some things they may not have seen before.
Hearing about such a jam-packed schedule can be intimidating. He has the duties of a student-athlete with a full course load and an array of organizations. However, Green’s motivational mindset allows him to view his schedule as a positive.
“As far as managing those things. It’s not difficult, I feel as though you can make time for the things that you want to make time for,” Green said. “A busy schedule also allows me to cut out the distractions in my schedule, so that time that I could be spending hanging out with friends, I’m actually replacing that stuff with things that will hold weight in the future. So it’s a way to keep me from the temptations and a way to keep myself away from the distractions.”
Green’s time at Rider is not over yet, he has plans to continue raising the standards even higher through his well-rounded involvement on campus in athletics, academics and everything in between.
“I am most proud of everything that I’m accomplishing right now as far as being in these clubs and these organizations, breaking records at Rider,” Green said. “I can honestly say that one of my biggest lifetime accomplishments is being a student at Rider. And that can be interpreted however people want to take that; it’s a lot of things, it’s a lot of accomplishment, a lot of success that is happening now at Rider for me.”