I have always dreamed of giving back to the communities that have given me so much; now is that time. I was raised by a single mom in the public housing projects a stone throw away from the Yale University campus. My intense involvement in football, basketball, and baseball growing up helped me to appreciate competition, hard work, and discipline. I am convinced these characteristics led me to excel academically at The Troupe Middle School and, eventual, helped me matriculate into the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation, an after school enrichment program at Yale University, where I was introduced to boarding school. Pomfret School gave me the chance to stretch myself even more academically, grow athletically, and learn to lead. After three amazing years at Pomfret School, I attended Trinity College, played basketball and majored in Economics. My life was changed as a result. This is why I am motivated to return to New Haven and Hartford to start making a difference in the lives of inner-city kids there. The vision of Inner City Lacrosse is to spread to colleges and universities along interstate 91 and 95 in Connecticut.
As an educator who believes in the power of character development of kids through sport, I endeavor to introduce inner-city kids to lacrosse, one of the fastest growing sports in America. The boys and girls I have in mind to benefit from inner-city lacrosse are middle school age kids in grades 6, 7, and 8 in those two cities. Over 7 weeks on Sundays for two hours, kids will be instructed in the game of lacrosse through drills the first hour and then play the game for the second hour.
The other powerful aspect of Inner City Lacrosse is the use of collegiate lacrosse players as volunteers to instruct and coach these kids during the fall when they are not in their season. This framework allows collegiate lacrosse players to be good ambassadors for their school and for the sport of lacrosse. I envision these volunteers developing important skills such as teaching, coaching, mentoring, and patience. Anne Phillips, the women’s coach at Yale, Kate Livesay, the women’s coach at Trinity College, Andy Shay, the men’s coach at Yale, and Mike Higgins, the men’s coach at Trinity College, are on-board with Inner City Lacrosse. They are also members of the Board.