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Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Using the team sport of lacrosse, MetroLacrosse fosters life enrichment, character development and healthy life choices in urban youth and teens in Boston and Chelsea. MetroLacrosse helps these children build skills and relationships to better prepare them for life achievement by maximizing positive personal relationships between uniquely trained coaches/mentors and at-risk children, who may be at a disadvantage socially, academically and emotionally because of the challenges prevalent in urban environments.

Mission Statement

Using the team sport of lacrosse, MetroLacrosse fosters life enrichment, character development and healthy life choices in urban youth and teens in Boston and Chelsea. MetroLacrosse helps these children build skills and relationships to better prepare them for life achievement by maximizing positive personal relationships between uniquely trained coaches/mentors and at-risk children, who may be at a disadvantage socially, academically and emotionally because of the challenges prevalent in urban environments.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,260,800.00
Projected Expense $1,249,629.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Coach-in-Training (CIT) Program
  • High School Programs
  • SummerBounce Overnight Camp
  • Youth and Junior Programs

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Using the team sport of lacrosse, MetroLacrosse fosters life enrichment, character development and healthy life choices in urban youth and teens in Boston and Chelsea. MetroLacrosse helps these children build skills and relationships to better prepare them for life achievement by maximizing positive personal relationships between uniquely trained coaches/mentors and at-risk children, who may be at a disadvantage socially, academically and emotionally because of the challenges prevalent in urban environments.

Background Statement

MetroLacrosse traces its roots to 1997, when a single lacrosse/educational program was offered in the Charlestown neighborhood. MetroLacrosse had an original goal to diminish the disparity between sports programs available to Boston’s urban youth as compared to their suburban counterparts. 

Having grown from its roots, the organization seeks to broaden the reach of the sport by expanding participation among urban youth, a traditionally underserved market within the lacrosse community. MetroLacrosse utilizes lacrosse based sports-learning programming to connect players, families, volunteers, donors and staff in powerful and intentional ways. MetroLacrosse recognizes the importance of athletics as a tool for teaching children how to manage times of adversity and empower them to address problems head on with fairness and strength.

Through community outreach and a unique integration of lacrosse, youth development and educational activities, MetroLacrosse has a reach that extends to more than 5,000 boys and girls and provides year-round programming to more than 700 youth in third through twelfth grade from urban communities with social, recreational and learning opportunities. Today, MetroLacrosse proudly stands as the largest and most comprehensive urban lacrosse and youth development program in the United States.



Impact Statement

MetroLacrosse is proud of the work done in working with youth of Boston and Chelsea over the last 14 years, making a difference in their physical and emotional health, transitioning their paths into more positive directions. The positive impact on these young people shows when they realize that the power to change for the better lies in their own hands, creating a cascade of achievement, giving the children the tenacity to accept and to overcome challenges presented to them.

 

As a direct result of guidance from the Logic Model last year, MetroLacrosse revamped its curriculum to optimize outcomes for all players, including the outliers. The unique needs, assets and access to critical resources varies for each player. 90% of all players achieve the “core” non-cognitive skills just by participating in at least one season of programming. While most players benefit from discussions of the expected “core”, the most at-risk children require additional targeted support to stick with and to benefit from the MetroLacrosse programs. Coaches use proactive, brief, and carefully planned interactions with certain players to initiate discussions, set goals and have daily check-ins. The addition of paid coaches during the spring 2015 season will be critical to the success of this program.

 

With direct access to and strong relationships with its urban participant base, MetroLacrosse enjoys a unique position that builds meaningful and sustainable participant relationships. Showing these children that they have the power to master a task and to grow positively represents only a fraction of what can be accomplished. New CEO Aaron Jones' long-term strategic vision focuses the Pursuit of Excellence, setting more intentional goals of physical, emotional and academic health and success. The plan involves expanded community partnerships to provide the children and coaches with the resources required not just to show up and participate, but to be leaders and success stories.

 

Needs Statement

In 2015, MetroLacrosse has started a new campaign, the Pursuit of Excellence which seeks to earn recognition as "the best urban talent in the lacrosse community" by focusing on four pillars:

1. Lacrosse Excellence: MetroLacrosse will upgrade the lacrosse skill and visibility of its teams to match that of suburban peers. The presence of more competitive MetroLacrosse teams, demonstrating the lacrosse competence of each of its players, will command inclusion within the demanding lacrosse community. Ultimately, players will enjoy increased  visibility  and access to the institutions of higher learning included within in the traditional lacrosse community.

2. Community Connections: continue to build partnerships with families, businesses and social service agencies to provide a comprehensive and inclusive resource for players and their families. By reaching out to the community, MetroLacrosse creates an environment where the community shares in enhancing the quality of life for urban youth. 

3. Academic Excellence: create supportive year-round programming to set academic goals and to reach academic milestones for players. Team provided safe space and tutoring for homework assistance, test preparation and writing skill workshops will develop and refine learning skills, augmenting the tenacity learned on the field for the student/athletes. The goal for this initiative is to have 100% of MetroLacrosse participants focused on college graduation.

4. Beyond-the-Field: This component embraces the social impact imperatives of the Pursuit of Excellence campaign. MetroLacrosse will work to remove the physical, emotional, and developmental barriers that often plague urban student/athletes. By addressing the wellness of the whole person, MetroLacrosse can tackle important conditions that include healthcare deficiencies, nutritional challenges, wellness opportunities, and many more.


CEO Statement

 

MetroLacrosse is the largest and most comprehensive urban lacrosse and youth development program in the United States. Through our unique programming and community outreach, the organization has built significant relationships with urban children of Boston, Chelsea and throughout the country.

The MetroLacrosse “Logic Model” serves as the roadmap for our lacrosse based programming. Specifically designed to address the stark reality that youth in urban underserved communities face challenges that make physical and  emotional health hypercritical, the model acknowledges that these constituents often lack the necessary support systems to achieve such health. Our year-round programming engages and connects with youth in these communities to teach participants key life skills/character traits, such as self-discipline, positive relationship building among peers & adults, healthy living, goal setting, social confidence, taking responsible risks and techniques to make healthy choices.

MetroLacrosse participants apply these deliberate and reinforced outcomes to their lives on and off the field, ultimately producing positive change in the lives of our participants as well as their families. Over the past 15 years of our programming, thousands of youth throughout Boston’s urban communities are physically and emotionally healthy because of the support that they received from  MetroLacrosse.

Continued generosity from our supporters allows MetroLacrosse to further refine and develop its Logic Model, and to embark on new initiatives to improve the  programming we deliver, including implementation of our Pursuit of Excellence initiative. The program includes deliberate programming to upgrade the lacrosse skills, academic support, community engagement and programs beyond the field designed not only to address physical health disparities prevalent among the community we serve, but to instill a sense of excellence in these youth. We invite you to join us as we continue our work to have a transformative positive impact on urban youth in Boston.

 


Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Citywide (please select all areas as well)
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- East Boston
City of Boston- Hyde Park
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Mission Hill
City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- North Dorchester

More than 750 children from Boston and Chelsea in  3rd - 12th grades predominantly come from Dorchester, Chelsea, Roxbury, Mattapan and East Boston.  Unlike traditional lacrosse programs, MetroLacrosse participants attend public schools (more than 90%) and are multi-lingual (more than 34% have ESL households). reflect the diversity their communities (35% African-American, 40% Hispanic, 13% Caucasian, 1% Native American, and 11% biracial/other).  

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  2. Recreation & Sports - Single Organization Support
  3. Education - Single Organization Support

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development

Programs

Coach-in-Training (CIT) Program

During the summer, MetroLacrosse engages its teen participants in a paid employment opportunity that encourages the development of personal leadership skills. In the CIT Program, MetroLacrosse hires its high school participants to work in a group to learn about planning and conducting lacrosse clinics for camps and community centers around the City of Boston.  The process of planning and delivering clinics at camps across the city provides an opportunity for CIT's to develop presentation and leadership skills, to learn how to work effectively in a group toward a common goal, and to learn basic office communication skills.
Budget  $30,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

High School Programs

MetroLacrosse's two high school teams (one boys' varsity and one girls' varsity) practice five times per week and compete in a full schedule of games against other high school teams.  During this time, high school student-athletes supplement their athletic experience with college access activities, exposure to education and careers, and teen employment initiatives.  Year-round support for high school participants includes college campus visits, workshops on financial aid, SAT test prep courses, support for college essay writing, and job shadowing opportunities to link careers with education.
Budget  $600,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

SummerBounce Overnight Camp

Approximately 200 boys and girls attend this five-day overnight camp in two sessions. Assigned to groups intentionally mixed by neighborhood and city, participants form relationships with other youth and adults in ways that aim to break down stereotypes and cultural barriers.  As participants live and play together, they support and encourage one another to challenge themselves both on and off the field.  Activities include competing in team initiatives, ropes course climbing, lacrosse practices and games, fitness training and an educational component that varies from year-to-year and is generally focused on different aspects of civic engagement.
Budget  $120,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

Youth and Junior Programs

MetroLacrosse's ten Youth and Junior teams (5 boys' teams and 5 girls' teams) practice twice a week and then participate in games and special events on the weekends for a total of approximately 10 hours of programming per week.  Participants on the Youth and Junior teams range in age from 11-14 and are focused on learning the concepts and culture inherent in MetroLacrosse's R.E.S.P.E.C.T. curriculum. This includes intentionally developing both individual and team-based skills which help youth learn how to make positive choices.
Budget  $600,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Aaron Jones
CEO Term Start Aug 2014
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Aaron Jones brings more than two decades of sports management expertise to MetroLacrosse. As the CEO, he is responsible for the daily operations and delivery of lacrosse programs to more than 700 urban kids throughout the city of Boston. He is also charged with the responsibility of expanding the nonprofit’s annual seven figure budget.

Aaron’s previous experience illustrates a distinguished record of success in generating sustainable revenue streams through partnership building, fund raising, strategic event management, and sponsorship & licensing expertise. Those experiences were cultivated through a professional background of entrepreneurial leadership and executive tenures with the NFL, NBA, emerging sports leagues and within the entertainment industry. 

Jones began playing lacrosse at a young age in Hempstead, NY, a community very similar to the environment that MetroLacrosse kids encounter each day. Jones leveraged his urban lacrosse roots into years of on & off the field accomplishments. A standout member of Cornell University lacrosse team, he was selected “Athlete of the Year” in 1985, All-Ivy team from 1985 – 1987, and All-American in 1987- the same year that the team finished as NCAA Champion runner ups. Jones received his BS from Cornell, and a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts. He credits his lacrosse participation as the catalyst that positively changed the trajectory of his

Jones’ sports management experience includes leading his own sports marketing firm, Jones Marketing & Management, Inc. (JMM) to represent a stable of nationally recognized brands and celebrities. Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, he served as President of the National Lacrosse League’s New York Titans and the NBA Development League’s Greenville Groove. Jones also served senior executive tenures leading Urban Box Office Network, managing local marketing efforts for the NFL and overseeing licensing programs for the NFL Players Association.

 

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Michael Levin May 2012 June 2014
Ms. Emily Helm May 2007 Mar 2012

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

MetroLacrosse collaborates with local and national partners for program delivery.  In particular, locally MetroLacrosse works with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, the Boston Public Schools, Chelsea Public Schools, Brockton Public Schools, Playworks, and a variety of local community centers and community-based service providers.  Nationally, MetroLacrosse collaborates with Up2Us -- the leading source for sports-based youth development initiatives across the country -- as well as other urban lacrosse and education programs nationally.  MetroLacrosse has particularly strong connections to programs that operate in Dallas, TX, Baltimore, MD, New York City, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Denver, CO, San Francisco, CA, Minneapolis, MN and Washington, DC among others.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Although MetroLacrosse is not a member of state or local nonprofit groups, we are members and active participants in local and national affiliate groups related to sports-based youth development, such as Up2Us.  In addition, MetroLacrosse serves a hub and the leader of the national urban lacrosse movement primarily by publishing an annual best practices handbook for the sector and by hosting an annual Urban Lacrosse Summit.

Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 7
Number of Part Time Staff 45
Number of Volunteers 50
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 3
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Gary Rogers
Board Chair Company Affiliation Boston Cannons
Board Chair Term Dec 2011 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mrs. Joanne Brine Retired Voting
Ms. Megan Britt National Center for Time & LEarning Voting
Mr. William Connolly Putnam Investments Voting
Mr. Michael Durbin Fidelity Investments Voting
Mr. Matthew Dwyer Roseview Group, Boston Cannons Voting
Ms. Anna Hitchner Bain & Co. Voting
Mr Aaron Jones MetroLacrosse Voting
Mr. Joseph Marvan Wellington Management Voting
Dr. Frederick Opie Babson College Voting
Mr. Gary Rogers Boston Cannons Voting
Mr. Bryan Sparkes Jones Lang LaSalle Voting
Ms. Meghan Hely Walsh Holland + Knight Voting
Mr. David Williams BNY Mellon Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Paige Brewster Boston University Academy NonVoting
Mr. Chris Davis New Balance Athletic Shoe Company, Inc. NonVoting
Mr. Bill Daye Boston Cannons NonVoting
Mr. Ryan FitzGerald City of Boston, BCYF NonVoting
Ms. Christine Higgins Student, MetroLacrosse Alumnus NonVoting
Ms. Lindsay Holland Student NonVoting
Mr. Peter Iwancio Vermont Teddy Bear Company NonVoting
Mr. Mark Kastrud Boston Bruins NonVoting
Mr. Cliff Libby Avenue 100 NonVoting
Mr. Ed McCarthy St. Sebastian's School NonVoting
Ms. Lauren Nichols Dey, LP NonVoting
Ms. Jasmine Obhrai Hasbro NonVoting
Ms. Michelle Perez Jordan Boys & Girls Club, Chelsea NonVoting
Mr. Dana Story Deloitte NonVoting
Mr. Bret Valerio Loomis Sayles NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 11
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 43%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Youth

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $1,260,800.00
Projected Expense $1,249,629.00
Form 990s

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

2008 990

Audit Documents

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

2010 Audit

2009 Audit

2008 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $1,140,939 $1,139,511 $1,303,181
Total Expenses $1,128,820 $1,094,823 $1,177,807

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $844,892 $960,809 $1,110,635
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $29,624 $20,623 $37,120
Investment Income, Net of Losses $90 $37 --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $252,302 $158,042 $155,426
Other $14,031 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $754,652 $772,197 $943,371
Administration Expense $202,231 $227,811 $75,600
Fundraising Expense $171,937 $94,815 $158,836
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.01 1.04 1.11
Program Expense/Total Expenses 67% 71% 80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 20% 10% 14%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $397,456 $401,379 $380,878
Current Assets $389,751 $374,036 $333,697
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $8,465 $22,985
Current Liabilities $36,027 $43,604 $53,271
Total Net Assets $361,429 $349,310 $304,622

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 10.82 8.58 6.26

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 2% 6%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's audited financials (contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available). 
 

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

The MetroLacrosse programs trace its roots to 1997, when a single lacrosse/educational program was offered in the Charlestown neighborhood. MetroLacrosse had an original goal to diminish the disparity between sports programs available to Boston’s urban youth as compared to their suburban counterparts. Having grown from its roots, the organization seeks to broaden the reach of the sport by expanding participation among urban youth, a traditionally underserved market within the lacrosse community, to function as a social impact organization rather than just a non-profit. MetroLacrosse utilizes year-round lacrosse based sports-learning programming to connect players, families, volunteers, donors and staff in powerful and intentional ways. MetroLacrosse recognizes the importance of athletics as a tool for teaching children how to manage times of adversity and empower them to address problems head on with fairness and strength.

Key achievements for MetroLacrosse include its ability to positively the impact of urban youth, while utilizing its Logic Model to continually improve its effectiveness as it rolls out the Pursuit of Excellence campaign. MetroLacrosse worked intensively with over 700 youth last year, spending an average of 65 programming hours with each child. The programs retain student/athletes at a statistically high rate (77% in 2015) when compared to other urban sports based youth development programs. Over 5,000 youth annually attend MetroLacrosse clinics conducted in partnership with Boston Public Schools and numerous summer camps. The Logic Model developed in 2014 has been a driving force in the development and refinement of the MetroLacrosse programs, including the development of the Pursuit of Excellence campaign to better serve as a complete resource to address the needs of urban youth, ensuring they set and achieve more intentional goals of success.

In the past year, The Pursuit of Excellence focused on improving physical and lacrosse skill competence of its student/athletes, so that they may be better accepted by the resource rich lacrosse community. Initial steps included the addition of paid part-time coaches, participation in high caliber clinics, showcases, camps and tournaments hosted by a variety of prep schools and colleges, successfully first steps in integrating MetroLacrosse student/athletes with suburban peers.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

MetroLacrosse’s mission is to foster positive life enrichment, character development and healthy life choices among urban youth and teens through enhanced participation in the team sport of lacrosse. The organization uses positive personal relationships between coaches/mentors and at-risk children, who may be at a disadvantage socially, academically and emotionally due in-part the challenges prevalent in urban environments. MetroLacrosse helps these children build skills and relationships to alleviate these challenges and better prepare them for elevated life achievement. As it transitions to a dedicated social impact organization, MetroLacrosse will focus more effort on defining and achieving the deliberate outcomes of physical, academic and social health for these children.

Multiple studies show that children raised in environments of inflated poverty and crime face higher risk of obesity, depression and a host of additional challenging conditions; they may lack meaningful relationships with responsible adults, and often develop a negative outlook on their future. Far too often children from these neighborhoods grow up lagging in the social intelligence needed to make wise decisions or the self-awareness to recover from poor decisions; these conditions often snare individuals in a repeating cycle of disadvantage. Through its Pursuit of Excellence, MetroLacrosse designs its programming as a remedy to these adverse circumstances. By targeting Boston neighborhoods often affected by the blight of urban living, MetroLacrosse combats the effect on youth most at-risk to be victimized by circumstances. As a social impact organization, MetroLacrosse uses its comprehensive programming around the sport of lacrosse to build a bridge to the opportunities offered through education.

Unlike traditional lacrosse programs, MetroLacrosse participants come from multiple ethnic backgrounds, are early adopters of the sport within their community, and return to the program at a rate of more than 70% once they complete one season of play. Over 50% of these children play in more than one season of the MetroLacrosse year-round programming. These favorable levels of participation drive the depth of programming impact. Players demonstrate physical fitness and academic performance levels well above the statistical norms for non-athletes in their neighborhoods.

A child's ability to master a new skill creates a “developmental cascade,” where competency in one area leads to success in others. With small, achievable, but meaningful goals (made clear via lacrosse skill development), players learn that hard work drives success, not just talent. MetroLacrosse student/athletes learn to create a growth mindset—where they set goals, then take the steps needed to achieve them. The kids acquire the determination and motivation required to achieve athletic, academic and personal success. More importantly, the youth realize how to continue their efforts amid setbacks. Once urban youth in the program learn the resilience needed to become competent in the sport of lacrosse, amid significant life challenge that surround them, they are inspired to tackle challenges beyond the playing field.

Due to a confluence of factors, Boston Public Schools offer significantly fewer athletic opportunities than suburban peers. MetroLacrosse fills that void, and with significant donor and corporate support, offers its programs without charge, to provide the sincere opportunity for transformative change for urban participants. MetroLacrosse's year-round programming provides athletic and academic opportunities for urban youth; hours and days vary by age group and season, averaging 65 hours each year per child, providing a consistent and structured environment that actively challenges participants to excel in all aspects of their lives. 


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

The MetroLacrosse Pursuit of Excellence ("PoE") campaign builds on 15 years of successful work with youth in Boston and Chelsea, making a difference in their physical and emotional health, transitioning their paths into more positive directions, epitomizing MetroLacrosse's move to a social impact agency: creating a network of programs and support to remedy factors in urban neighborhoods that traditionally prevent youth from reaching full potential.

Historically, the positive impact on MetroLacrosse ("ML") student/athletes shows when they realize that the power to change for the better lies in their own hands, creating a cascade of achievement, giving the children the tenacity to accept and to overcome challenges presented to them. By setting more powerful and intentional goals through the PoE, ML seeks to have a truly transformative role in the lives of these kids. PoE relies heavily on continuing robust partnerships with supporters, building support networks with other service organizations, and encompassing the community as a whole.

The long-term strategic vision incorporates setting more intentional goals of physical, emotional and academic health and success its student/athletes. Expanded community partnerships provide the children and coaches with the resources required not just to show up and participate, but to be leaders and success stories. The PoE takes advantage of the robust resources inherent in the tightly knit lacrosse community. In building the lacrosse and academic skills of the ML student/athletes, ML positions them to seamlessly join the ranks of the accomplished lacrosse network, with access to renowned academic institutions at both the secondary and post-secondary level.

As it strives to be recognized as the best urban talent in the lacrosse community, ML will utilize four platforms to raise expectations and support for its student/athletes seeking excellence.

- Lacrosse Excellence: Youth development experts stress that developing competence in sports directly helps participants in other areas of life such as academics and social confidence both on and off the playing field. The goal is to increase competitiveness and visibility of on-field efforts to levels at least on par with suburban peers. 2016 plans will support stipend coaches, lacrosse training and will build more extensive "select team" programming.

- Academic Excellence: Studies show that children who successfully participate in athletics improve confidence and often their academic performance, graduation rates and success post-secondary school. The enhanced programs will build on the ML study halls, tutoring and other academic support to provide more robust systems for building writing skills, as well as for the application process (SSAT and SAT testing, completion of application and financial aid packages, interview preparation). The comprehensive approach enlists partner organizations with academic support expertise as a core competency.

- Community Connections: ML seeks to increase its profile within the community, including government agencies, businesses and social service organizations. Through media exposure and community engagement, ML works to increase public awareness and to align with other groups that serve the same constituency. Currently ML is developing a collaborative health & fitness program with The Big Sister Association of Greater Boston and Tufts Health Plan to illustrate the behavioral, health, and fitness benefits that both organizations provide to at-risk girls from urban environments.

- Social Impact: ML has always focused on the well-being of the whole child, addressing emotional and physical health, sometimes formally, more often in a casual setting. Social Impact requires more deliberate attention to the physical and emotional needs of the ML student athletes. Goals for this pillar include full implementation of access to annual physicals for ML players and creation of a multi-media ethnic nutrition program.


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

The MetroLacrosse Logic Model dictates the preferred outcomes for all MetroLacrosse efforts. The results produced by participation in MetroLacrosse programming demonstrate that participants become physically and emotionally healthy as they learn to set goals, build social confidence and make healthy choices. Outcomes include: taking responsible risks, building lacrosse and athletic skills, getting moderate to vigorous physical activity, learning self-discipline, building positive relationships with adults and peers, gaining exposure to health driven and athletic culture.

As implementation of the "Pursuit of Excellence” programs continues, a new set of measurement criteria has started to emerge. Ultimately, MetroLacrosse seeks to place 100% of its participants at institutions of higher education, supported by the physical, academic and emotional health developed by the four pillars of excellence:

- Lacrosse Excellence: measurement will be driven by the win/loss records of the teams against higher caliber opponents, depth of schedule, selection of MetroLacrosse student/athletes on all-star and other awards, development and success of the "Select" team.

- Academic Excellence: development of comprehensive tracking system of current vs. subsequent grades, test scores and matriculation; feedback from funders and experts within the space will be critical to an effective evaluation of this component.

- Community Connections: when MetroLacrosse student/athletes are known as the best talent in urban lacrosse, and the MetroLacrosse programs recognized by families, the community, business leaders, social agencies and government as a driving force behind the success of youth.

- Social Impact: progress towards 100% annual physicals for all MetroLacrosse student/athletes and production/distribution of the health & wellness programs.


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

In the past year,  emerging partnerships with academic service providers, private school and suburban lacrosse teams, college lacrosse coaches and others continue to develop, allowing MetroLacrosse to both further its impact, but also to improve outcomes for its student/athletes. A key component in the past year has been the development of a strong referral network with private, boarding and post-grad schools, such as Portsmouth Abbey, New Hampton Academy, Buckingham Browne and Nichols, and Bridgeton Academy. These institutions and others value the diversity ML student/athletes bring to their campus, as each school looks to build the athletic prowess of their lacrosse teams. ML expects additional relationships to grow and develop with continued participation in lacrosse showcase events.

Plans for the MetroLacrosse 2016 SummerBounce camp, which brings urban lacrosse athletes from a dozen programs from around the country for two week-long sessions at New Hampton School in NH, include expansion plans to further this goal. The camp will include coaches from prep schools, college players and others who will not only increase the level of lacrosse instruction, but also provide players with an audience for their skills. And a path to well-respected institutions of academic accomplishment.

As the paid ML coaching staff continues to implement a consistent and more accomplished brand for ML lacrosse, athletic achievement, and the doors it opens, will continue to improve. 
 
 The emerging partnerships in each of the remaining three pillars continue to develop, with enthusiasm from within ML and from its potential partners.  Focus has been on selecting the best matched partnerships, ones that will be able to grow with the evolution and reach of the PoE campaign, opening doors for the ML student/athletes.  As the "dating" process continues, ML has had to re-evaluate some priorities within each pillar, refuse assistance that would only aid a percentage of its constituents, and ask and answer some difficult questions of potential partners and its own organizational goals.  ML realizes that this program will never be static; the dynamics of its programs, like the game of lacrosse, will incorporate momentum to reach its ultimate goals.