Aetna Champions for Change


African Americans creating a healthier world through sports

2015 African American History Calendar

Michael Gary – video transcript

My name is Michael Gary. I was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut.

When I was growing up, in the inner-city projects of New Haven, I was introduced to an enrichment program – an after-school program at Yale University. And it was there, just walking on their campus – I felt smart; I felt important. And I wanted to give that same feeling to the kids that I’m working with now.

My idea for starting Inner City Lacrosse came out of the desire to introduce inner-city kids to a sport that they don’t have easy access to.

I wanted to use sport to teach kids not just the sport of lacrosse, but also life lessons. One of the mottos for Inner City Lacrosse is, “Finish what you start.”

Sport comes closest to kids experiencing life in a real way. It’s time for me to give back.

New Haven, Yale, Hartford, Trinity gave this inner-city boy an opportunity to not just dream but to believe in his dream, and I am very happy in my life right now.

And so it’s time for me to reciprocate. And so the little bit that I can do to give back to those communities that gave me so much is the least I can do.

It brings me a lot of joy.