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A Speech from Serena: Sports 4 Life Community Spotlight

Harlem Lacrosse – Los Angeles is a Sports 4 Life Community Partner that provides free youth development and lacrosse programming for children in South LA, Compton and Inglewood. Its mission is to empower children most at risk for academic decline and dropout to rise above their challenges and reach their full potential.

The advanced school-based model provides meaningful athletic and academic opportunities. Lead by coaching professionals, the program runs over the course of 9 weeks in 1-2 after-school practices paired with weekly study halls and enrichment activities.

The Sports 4 Life funding and support provided by the Women’s Sports Foundation, and founding partner espnW, helps Harlem Lacrosse – Los Angeles teach girls how to persevere and to rise above obstacles. The grant also provides for adequate transportation so that girls can participate in sports programming and travel to team competitions where they can put their skills into practice.

Serena’s Speech

Hello my name is Serena Dillon and I’ve been playing this amazing sport for three years; it has opened so many doors for me, especially this year. Since I started playing, it has given me a chance to get out the house away from my neighborhood in LA.

Our team has gone to places we’ve never been before, like Ojai, Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Pedro, and more. We also experience new things and meet so many great people. This last fall, we attended the Legends tournament in San Diego as a full HL- LA team, and that was a very special weekend.

We also went to Orange County to stay with host families from the St. Margaret’s School. We also got to attend a team bonding day at Athlete’s Choice. It was a weekend that brought us so close as a team, making us like a family.

This past winter, we focused on somethings off the lacrosse field, and got our own personal mentors from a company called Advice Period. My mentor helped me feel in control of my future. My coaches also make me feel like I can do anything or be anything.

I want to make sure that more children get to experience this wonderful program. Harlem Lacrosse LA has done so much for me and my fellow teammates, and every child deserves a chance like this one.


About Sports 4 Life: Founded by the Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW, Sports 4 Life is a national initiative to increase the participation and retention of girls of color, ages 11-18, in developmental youth sports programs. Through education, public awareness and funding to organizations nationwide, Sports 4 Life seeks to effect sustainable improvement to the overall health and development of girls in these communities. Meet our 2018 Community Partners >>. The 2018 programs will be announced in June.