how volunteering with the long island metropolitan lacrosse foundation has helped impact a young player life

A College Essay from John Giannotti

An activity that most clearly demonstrates my qualities of leadership and service to the community was volunteering for the LI Metro Lacrosse Foundation.  This program helps special needs children and teens learn the game of lacrosse. This program was important to me because I was born with a disability and was told that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy playing sports.  I was born with Cerebral Palsy and my chances of playing sports weren’t something that I thought I would see in my future.  

This program was something that changed my life as an athlete and I wanted to do the same for other kids like me. I  also told myself that when I got older I wanted to make the experience of playing lacrosse better than what mine was and wanted to give  kids something to strive for as young athletes and not wait until they got older and realized they were missing skills and didn’t have the will and courage to try.  The program gave the athletes free sticks and gloves, any equipment they needed to be successful. We worked on basic skills and even played a game.  Watching these kids’ faces light up and smile meant the world to me.  I was one of those kids many years ago and it will be a memory that I will never forget.  I hope these kids hold on to this event and it inspires them to try new things and never give up on something they want to try.  I plan on continuing to volunteer at this program and hope that one day I can start my own program for children with special needs to give them the same experiences I had.  The KNIGHTS changed my life, I had the courage to play PAL Lacrosse and eventually play at the junior and high school level.   

In closing, the Long Island Metro Lacrosse Foundation has impacted my life in so many positive ways.  It has taught me that I should never stop pursuing my dreams and this volunteer experience has given me the qualities of a leader that has allowed these athletes to be included and participate in the game of lacrosse.  This sport was one of the only sports that included me and allowed me to play, it was very difficult for me to play other sports and lacrosse has inspired me to teach other kids with disabilities and allowed me to be part of a team and experience what many other kids like me never did because they didn’t have the chance.