While a student in the Postbac Premed Program, Sam Klein ’11 volunteered as a lacrosse coach at Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem. The public school’s modest lacrosse program quickly grew into a holistic youth services organization, now called Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership (HLL). Today, the nonprofit organization provides at-risk boys and girls with school-based academic intervention, lacrosse programming, leadership training, and admissions counseling at P.S. 149, P.S. 76, Promise Academy II, and Frederick Douglass Academy I in Harlem. Klein, a cofounder of the organization with teacher Simon Cataldo and Paul DiCarlo ’11BUS, is now expanding HLL to Baltimore with a program at the Commodore John Rodgers Elementary and Middle School.
This past summer, student participants in Harlem Lacrosse were featured in a Dick’s Sporting Goods “Sports Matter” video campaign. The piece illustrates the positive impact HLL’s work has had on its participants. It may be seen on YouTube. Additionally, HLL reports that since 2011, 100 percent of participants in the Frederick Douglass Academy program have graduated from middle school. Furthermore, HLL participants have a nearly 20 percent higher passing rate than the other students in their same core classes. Notably, the program’s students have been awarded over $9.5 million in scholarships from some of the most prestigious preparatory and secondary schools in the country. Needless to say, Klein, who is currently in his final year of medical school at Brown University and preparing for his medical residency, is extremely proud of his ongoing work with Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership.