HARLEM, NEW YORK CITY – Jake Klein, former assistant coach with the Frederick Douglass Academy Middle School and High School Varsity Lacrosse Teams, was hired this past spring as HLL’s first official , full-time Program Director. In addition to coaching the middle school program, Jake directs the academic mentoring services, coordinates work with Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership’s talented body of tutors, and manages the boarding school placement counseling services offered to about a dozen students by HLL.
Also joining Jake is Patrick Devery, a tenured high school history teacher at Frederick Douglass Academy. Patrick will serve as Faculty Mentor for the Program Director and as first assistant coach for the middle school teams.
Harlem Lacrosse & Leadership has been working this fall with over twenty new volunteers. Some, like former Brown University lacrosse player Matthew Greenberg and medical student Jesse Roberts, have become very active coaches during weekday practices. Others have taken more to affecting substantial change off the field. Many of these volunteers are independently associated with the organization, like tutors Jessica Calefati (a staff writer with the New Jersey Star-Ledger) and Sasha Blaes (graduate of the Postbaccalaureate Premed program at Columbia). After recruitment and careful selection, each tutor is assigned to individual Harlem Lacrosse student-athletes. Since September, volunteers have been providing individualized mentoring and tutoring for standardized boarding school entrance exams like the SSAT free of charge. Working with HLL’s Program Director and other Board members, tutors also coach players on interview techniques.
More recently, HLL has solicited the help of a sizable group from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) Students of Color and their chair, Erica Sanders. Columbia SIPA scholars work to help students develop personal statements for their boarding school applications.