Tierra is Learning the Rules, and Changing the Game for OWLS

By February 27, 2017Uncategorized

Our mission is to create opportunity for Chicago’s youth through the sport of lacrosse. Playing the game is the highlight of our programming, but at the same time a hook for academic support, enrichment, service-learning, career readiness and more. Tierra Martin (age 16) has been a participant in our programs since fifth grade, and has time after time turned challenges into opportunity. Tierra was a quiet fourth grader who struggled in almost every subject. Flash forward to present-day she is an honor roll student at Christ the King College Prep, and the lowest grade on her last report card was a ‘B’. As a middle school student she became frustrated with the limited options for girls programming, and approached us with a question: “Can I play with the boys team?”. She did so and not only became an integral part of a team that won our league, but also paved the way for several girls to follow in her footsteps in the years following…

Tierra (#4) on the Middle School Team at OWLS St. Malachy.

Like many city schools, Tierra’s current high school does not offer lacrosse. However she has stayed actively engaged in OWLS through volunteering, playing with our new community based “Academy”, and now training to be an official! Recently we partnered with Great Lakes Lacrosse Officials Association (GLLOA) to provide training for select OWLS High School students. This past weekend Tierra and her classmates went through over 16 hours of intensive officials training at Hoffman Estates High School. Through the GLLOA training program she is learning comprehensive official’s protocol, and on track to becoming a licensed official in Illinois. Students in the OWLS Officials Training Program (three students currently) will be provided with invaluable leadership skills, a trade that will provide economic return, and a reciprocal role in our organization that younger participants can model.

The GLLOA program includes intensive classroom and on-field training!

We are so proud of participants like Tierra, and grateful for community partners like the GLLOA. They are helping make the goals of our mission a reality. We would also be remiss not to mention the support of Tierra’s Mother (Terra) for her constant support. Terra works night shifts at the County Sheriff’s Department, and this past Saturday and Sunday she used her time-off taking Tierra an hour each way to the training. The good news is now she wants to be an official too! We love our OWLS Family!

Tiana (little sister), Terra (mother) and Tierra.