Henry Daschle is the co-Founder and co-President of OneCity, the DC nonprofit startup that focuses on battling mental health in DC high schools through physical fitness. I sat down with him and asked him some questions about his inspiration, his team, his mission, and his strategy for optimizing his goals. Join me at getting an inside look at the heart of OneCity.
X: Have you lived in D.C. all of your life?
Daschle: I was born in Boston, Massachusettes but moved to Washington D.C. at a very early age, not even a year old. I have grown up and been raised in D.C. my entire life, and it is an incredibly rewarding feeling to be giving back to the community that raised me.
X: You went to The Maret School, a private high school in Washington D.C.. What was your experience there like and how did it influence who you are today?
Daschle: I had a great experience at Maret. It was a very small and tight community that provided many opportunities for its students. One of the opportunities was that during the summer going into my sophomore year of high school, the school completely renovated its athletic facilites. This opened my eyes a little bit to the priviledge that it was to use such great equipment. When I talked to my co-Founder Caleb Teems about this, he mentioned how his school, then Woodrow Wilson High School, had no facilities like this. This made us want to expand the accesss to such equipment and facilities so more students can use them as tools to help battle mental and physical health issues.
X: There is also somewhat of a service that OneCity provides to its donors, is that correct?
Daschle: That is correct, but it depends on the type of donation. Many donations that OneCity receives are pieces of old home gym equipment that are just sitting in basements collecting dust. Rather than throwing it away or let it sit there without being used, people can donate that equipment to us and we will come pick it up from you, free of charge of course. Once an evaluation is done on the equipment, they also then receive a reciept that tells them how much there donation was worth, for tax purposes. Many people love the service of having someone come and pick up this equipment, as its somewhat of a chore for most people.
X: Is there anything else you would like people to know about OneCity?
Daschle: I would want people to know that the main thing we want to accomplish with this organization is to just help people, specfically these high school students, live better lives. Whether that means its with their mental health, physical health, their academic performance, or just overall a better quality of life. We want to help change lives and we believe that we are on the right course to doing just that.