CHICAGO - A Chicago program is introducing children to a sport some may not have never heard of. It is using lacrosse to teach them lessons both on and off the field.
It is not an easy sport, or one you will pick up fast.
“When I first started it was a struggle, a really big struggle,” said Derrick Brooks.
Plus, it sometimes gets a bad rap.
“I think it has the stigma of being an affluent, rich kid sports, a prep school sport, but really it's an indigenous Native American sport,” said Sam Angelotta.
But lacrosse is changing kids' lives in Chicago through an organization called “OWLS.”
“We use Lacrosse as a tool, as a foundation, to provide access not only to the sport but to impactful mentorship and academic services,” said Angelotta, who is the Executive Director and Founder of OWLS Lacrosse.
Angelotta's non-profit now reaches hundreds of kids in third through 12th grade. Kids get mentors, access to scholarships and of course, learn how to play lacrosse. The vast majority of players are minorities from low-income households.
For Mya Pipes, it has helped her learn to be a team player.
“You have to get along with others. It’s fun but also sometimes it's challenging,” Pipes said.
For kids like Brooks, the lessons extend beyond the field.
“When you're doing this you can see there's a future, you have a future in this,” he said.
Brooks says his future includes teaching more kids to play lacrosse.