Eliza took an exercise class that she taught at UMass Amherst and turned it into a growing business that keeps people healthy and raises money for important causes.
To any prospective students - pick UMass because it gives you more options, more opportunity, more communities that you could ever imagine. You can shape your experience and you can really, truly follow your passion. So I started Kick It by Eliza at UMass Amherst my freshman year. I thought maybe I could take up teaching group fitness. So I took a step class. And I thought, "yeah, I can do this." I got it. So I asked the instructor to connect me to the group fitness director, Jill Isabelle. I showed up and she said, OK, let's see what you got. And I did 16 counts of kickboxing and said, "yeah, this is Kick It." And that was it. For the next four years, I was teaching Kick It. UMass had everything to do with me making this a fitness program with studying public health, learning anatomy and the human body was helpful, but also from the social, branding, marketing side of it. I was able sell this class to students, even though it was free. To get them in. To experience what I wanted them to experience. There was such great support. It very quickly became a UMass effort and not just an Eliza effort. Studying abroad at UMass you can go anywhere. So I chose Cape Town, and when I got there I realized there is such a need for, not just public health, but for Kick It. My UMass education means everything to me. The school encourages you to find your little part. Your expertise. Your passion. My name is Eliza Shirazi, founder of Kick It by Eliza. I stand for female empowerment, and I stand for UMass.