By Owen Smith
Senior Lucas Romick’s thirst to help others garnered him a position on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, the highest off-field award bestowed in college football. During the past four summers, Romick worked with The Thirst Project, a nonprofit organization based out of Los Angeles that works on providing clean drinking water to marginalized peoples.
When I was a senior in high school, the CEO came into my school and spoke about the goals of the program,” Romick said.
“I bugged him for an internship which led to him speaking at Denison, and I developed a working relationship with him after that.”
Romick runs events, business development and operations during the summer. A typical day could have him at the office at 8 a.m. and by noon he might be at a studio, helping shoot a promotional video with A-list celebrities.
“The whole thing is very moving,” Romick, who also competes on Denison’s track and field team said. “The videos they make, the stories they tell; it really captures you, and I just wanted to know what I could do to help. It’s been the greatest experience of my last four years.”
Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) bestowed one of their 22 Good Works Awards to Romick this year for his commitment to helping others, and this was not just for his work with the Thirst Project. Romick is the president of the Denison Student Athlete Advisory Committee (DSAAC) and the president of the Student Athlete Advisory committee for the North Coast Athletic Conference. Nancy Carney-DeBord, the faculty advisor of DSAAC, has seen change stem from Romick’s leadership.
“Student campus initiatives have increased during his time at the helm, for example, working and improving meal/nutrition offerings for athletes,” said DeBord, who claimed that Romick has been integral in the organization of National Student Athlete Day and the yearly athlete formal thrown by DSAAC. “He understands the importance of leading by and through values, and is leaving a legacy of excellence.”
In typical Romick fashion, he brought his friend and track and field teammate, Quenton Richards ’16, to intern below him for The Thirst Project this past summer. Richards admits Romick inspired him to do it, and worked as an Associate/Operations Intern.
“He would call me during his time in Los Angeles and tell me all the good he was doing in the world and would tell me about the organization and their mission,” Richards said. “So after hearing about it for three years, I figured I had to see it for myself. He never hesitates to put others on the team (both for the Thirst Project, football and track) before himself.”
Romick will receive the award at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1, but between now and then, Romick will continue to boost the Big Red after their undefeated 4-0 start to the season.
Romick plans to move out to Los Angeles to work for the Thirst Project full time after graduation.