Alessia McIntosh talks Gameday, the GRAN Foundation and more!

Rocky McIntosh has spent the past six seasons wearing burgundy and gold. Drafted out of the University of Miami in 2006 and recording a career-high 110 tackles for the Redskins in 2010, the linebacker finished off the 2011 NFL season with 65 combined tackles, one sack and one pass breakup. While Rocky is currently a free agent, we don’t think is the last we will see of the McIntosh’s in the DMV.

In January, Rocky and his wife, Alessia, founded and launched a non-profit organization called A GRAN Foundation, focused on empowering youth and giving underserved children the guidance needed to achieve success. No matter where the 2012-2013 season takes them, the couple plans to continue developing the foundation in Maryland and Northern Virginia and will play an active role in the DC area community.

Rocky and Alessia first met during the third week of school at the University of Miami and got married on the beach just three days before the 2006 NFL Draft.

Now married for six years, WOW sat down with Alessia to talk about how she does it all with their two children, Gavin and Natalie (ages 4 and 3 respectively), learn more about the foundation and it’s message and get a sneak peak at what gameday is really like for the McIntosh family!
Tell us a little bit about Rocky’s Road and recent launch of the GRAN Foundation.

Rocky's Road is a multi year partnership with Prince William County Schools and specifically Yorkshire Elementary in Manassas, VA. Our students meet every Tuesday after school with High School mentors, and two teachers who lead the curriculum (Megan Link and Mallori Kiryluk).

They learn about eating well, being active, and also spend time doing academic enrichment activities. They also take a monthly field trip that is related to the curriculum. My favorite part of the program is seeing the students so excited about learning and their active engagement in all of the activities We definitely feel that if you are able to reach students at a young age that the chances for establishing a better foundation are much greater. We hope that at the end of the 5-year program, our students will be achieving academically at high levels, leading healthy and active lifestyles and be excited about both learning and their futures.

Do you and Rocky plan on implementing the program at other local elementary schools?
We would love to be able to do more programs in other schools, but at this time we are busy working to ensure the sustainability at Yorkshire Elementary for years to come. Hopefully with increased awareness and great results, we will have the opportunity to expand the program into other schools.

The GRAN Foundation name comes from the four names in your family - Gavin, Rocky, Alessia and Natalie - and it's clear family is an important theme. Why did you start the GRAN Foundation?
We have been involved in charitable giving and community work since arriving to the area six years ago. We have long felt that it is our duty to serve others and try to affect change where possible. The creation of A GRAN Foundation allows us to focus more intensely on certain groups, which we hope results in better outcomes for our youth.

Family is of tremendous importance to us. We are excited for our children to grow up understanding how important service to others is, and that it is one of our family's lifelong goals. We feel blessed to have been put in a position to be able to work together as a family in supporting our communities and giving back. This is just the beginning of what we hope will be years of helping support youth and their families with sustainable programs.

You and Rocky recently held a dinner at The Palm in D.C. for A GRAN Foundation. What are some of your other favorite places to dine in DC?
Two of our favorite DC area restaurants are Zatinya in DC and Woo Lae Oak, in VA. Rocky loves the ribs at Woo Lae Oak!

What's your favorite part about gameday?
My favorite thing about gameday and has been since college, is just the possibility that each week holds for something amazing to happen. Even when we aren't winning every game, the excitement in the atmosphere - that today may be the day for a big win - is intoxicating

Now that the kids are getting older, they love attending games and seeing their dad on the field. We try and attend every home game!

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