I am always amazed at the compassion and thoughtfulness of young people, especially teenagers. We live in a word where most of the information about our youth is negative, so I'm happy to tell you about Jordan Karp, 16.
Jordan, a senior at Miami Country Day School, will spend his summer months teaching inner-city youths about the game of lacrosse. He is the leader of the program geared to teaching the game to underprivileged and at-risk youths who are being tutored at the school. The program is in collaboration with Breakthrough Miami, a nonprofit organization that provides disadvantaged students with the tools they need to reach their goals.
Jordan made lacrosse's Elite Team Florida as well as Team Miami and competed against about 500 youngsters in his category to make Elite Team Florida, which represents the state in two national tournaments -- one in Princeton, N.J., and the other in Hotbeds at the University of Delaware. The latter is the most prestigious of the two tournaments. The Florida Lacrosse News recently mentioned Jordan "... as someone to keep an eye on" from his performance at the Team Florida All-Star Competition.
At the camp, he will use his expertise to teach the youngsters how the sport is played, its rules and the team-building skills that will help them not just in the sport, but also in life.
Jordan was able to get beginning lacrosse equipment from major manufacturers. He said he hopes what he is doing will inspire similar programs for other sports to include underprivileged children throughout the nation, while promoting the expansion of lacrosse and encouraging kids to play the game. Jordan also used his own money to buy the lacrosse sticks for the youngsters in the program.
Jordan started playing lacrosse when he was in the sixth grade and fell in love with the game. As a junior, he was this season's junior attackman and was honored as the leading scorer on the Miami Country Day School's varsity lacrosse team. He was named by the Miami Herald as an All-Dade Lacrosse Player. In the fall, he will be the captain of his team.
"I realized when I tried out for Team Florida, I noticed there wasn't a lot of diversity. Since I grew up with a lot of different cultures I wanted to teach the sport to the underprivileged. It's a great way to learn about other cultures," Jordan said. "In lacrosse, most of the kids grow up in privileged homes. I hope to mentor more kids in the future. I appreciate that I'm playing the sport and teaching it to others, while seeing them improve (their game)."
According to a press release, Breakthrough Miami is a tuition-free academic enrichment program that provides motivated middle-school students from underserved communities with the tools they need to achieve their most ambitious goals in life. The program serves more than 1,000 students from throughout Miami-Dade County on sites at five independent schools and one public charter school. Lacrosse will be offered as a part of the program through July 26.
For more information call Elissa Vanaver, CEO of Breakthrough Miami, at 305-646-7210.
Series to open
The Community Arts Program Summer Concert Series "then Swings My Soul" at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ will present pianist Orli Shaham in concert at 8 p.m. Thursday at the church, 3010 DeSoto Blvd.
Shaham, recognized as one of today's most-gifted pianists, is also praised for her grace, subtlety and vitality. She has collaborated with her brother violinist Gil Shaham on many recordings. At Thursday's concert, she will perform a recital of Chopin, Brahms and a presentation of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.