“It meant a lot to me to have my teammates to lean on and to have the relationships that I was able to build through lacrosse.”
Jakub Iwon is the goalie for the CityLax-supported Murry Bergtraum Boys lacrosse team. Now a senior at Urban Assembly Maker (one of the four schools in the building that participate on the Murry Bergtraum team), this two-time captain has been the goalie since its establishment last year as a developmental program. While some people may be focused on the scoreboard to determine this season’s success, Jakub is interested in something else—“My goals are that we grow more as a team with each game, that we have more chemistry and communication throughout. We’re already looking better and better as the games progress, so I hope we continue to improve upon that.”
“I feel like my experience at NorthStar has made me a better player and I’ll be able to bring what I’ve learned home and make my team stronger.”
Carly Fine, a junior at Bayside High School in Queens, was one of two selected student-athletes to attend the elite NorthStar Invitational camp this summer. She started playing attack her freshman year and has slowly transitioned to become a strong midfield player who stands out on the field not just for her skills, but also for her character and commitment. Carly explains, “I feel like my experience at NorthStar has made me a better player and I’ll be able to bring what I’ve learned home and explain to my teammates different perspectives of lacrosse, which will make my team stronger.”
“Because of CityLax, I came out of my shell and gained confidence.”
Amira Ashfaq is a CityLax alumna from Midwood High School, class of 2017. Despite her small 5’2” stature, she’s one of the most tenacious and active goalies on the field. Originally from Saudi Arabia, Amira moved to NYC when she was 7 years old. Amira was forced to quickly learn English in school, which made every day more of a challenge. Because of the universal language of numbers, math became Amira’s favorite class. When she reached high school, she joined the Midwood Girls Lacrosse Team to make friends and convinced her younger sister, Queen, to play as well. By senior year, she was captain of the team.
“You’re only as good as your last play.”
This advice from a high school lacrosse coach still guides Omar Alhagiko and pushes him to keep striving for more. Now a Division I lacrosse player at Wagner College, the CityLax alum is looking forward to graduating this spring with a double major in Finance and Economics. He hopes to enter the world of finance and continue to be involved with lacrosse, a sport that has greatly impacted his life and made him who he is today.
“What is important is not where someone starts, but what is done with the opportunities given to them.”
My name is Elianna Sanchez and I am currently a junior attending SUNY Oswego with a major in Wellness Promotion and a minor in Biology. During my three years at SUNY Oswego, I have been fortunate enough to play as a lacrosse goalie for the Women’s Lacrosse team.As I continue to grow, I can see how much lacrosse has developed my mind to focus on activities that align with my true self.
Mia Ibrahim describes herself as “the nerdy dorky band girl” who became a music major and is now a music educator and clarinetist—but she’s also a CityLax lacrosse coach and the head girl’s coach at KIPP’s Academy. A true teacher, she started teaching clarinet lessons out of her garage in high school to the local neighborhood kids, and now balances her time between helping students learn how to play musical instruments in the classroom and coaching NYC girls in the game of lacrosse outside on the field.
“Practice every day. You can’t just practice one day, you need to practice a lot if you want to get better”
Joshua Dyer is a recent graduate of Christopher Columbus High School. Hailing from the Bronx, Joshua is excited to make the move to New Rochelle and begin his freshman year at Monroe College this fall. He intends to study Human Services at Monroe and be able to explore all of the opportunities that the school has to offer.
“Seeing that there are a lot of girls in New York City that are so passionate about lacrosse makes me really happy. It is nice to know that there are a lot of other serious players out there.”
Ivy League bound, Emma Seitz is a recent graduate of Hunter College High School. With plans to attend Yale University in the fall, Emma looks forward to the opportunities that lie ahead of her.
“Donors and volunteers of CityLax: Thank you for your leadership and support! It’s you who help us get one step closer to our goals and successful futures.”
Jahnazia “J” Williams is in the eleventh grade, currently attending the Collegiate Institute for Math and Science, located in the Bronx. Born and raised in Harlem, New York, J has lived with multiple foster families and has subsequently moved boroughs and schools throughout her first three years of high school.
“At the CityLax Clinics, there was definitely a sense of community. It didn’t matter what your skill level was or whether you were a competitive player or not, we were all on the same ship,” J describes. “We were all impacted by lacrosse in ways that left us changed for the better.”
“Because of CityLax, I’ve met amazing teammates that are going to be my lifelong friends.”
Ella Braunstein is in the eleventh grade at the United Nations International School, or UNIS. A middie and attack player, she loves the fast pace of the game and the opportunities to run and score. Most importantly, though, she loves the community of lacrosse.