Building a Team Off and On the Field
For James Sanderson ’21, helping educate youth has been a longtime endeavor. When he was younger, he helped his mother work for The Sudanese Education Foundation, which aids survivors of the Sudanese genocide with education. Later he assisted her in developing her company ThinkerAnalytix, which designs curricula for high schools and colleges. Now, Sanderson is working for Harlem Lacrosse, a non-profit organization that gives inner-city, at-risk youth in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Philadelphia athletic coaching and academic tutoring, and he couldn’t be more pleased.
Harlem Lacrosse, through its tutoring and lacrosse program, strives to instill confidence that students can use “on and off the field.” As assistant program director intern, Sanderson takes on a host of duties to create a productive, supportive environment for the youth. He primarily makes and maintains a system for distributing donations for Harlem Lacrosse, though he also analyzes student attendance, works with Summer Academy to develop athletic skills, tutors individual students, and coaches lacrosse. Sanderson said that the most “rewarding part of the job is the trust built with the students both as a tutor and as a coach.”
Working with Harlem Lacrosse is also a personal venture for Sanderson. “I applied to Harlem Lacrosse because their mission to provide young students with an opportunity to learn the game while also receiving academic help, resonated with me as a student athlete,” he said. A lacrosse player at Hamilton, he understands the importance of physical activity and the sense of community and accomplishment that it can bring.
Hometown: Lincoln, Mass.
High School: Middlesex School
Sanderson also noted that educational challenges he has faced have motivated his compassion. “As a kid who suffered from a learning disability, I was fortunate to be born into a family with the means to hire specialists. Now at Hamilton College, I have a profound respect and admiration for educator’s ability to change a student’s trajectory.”
Sanderson sees himself doing similar work in the future. An economics major, he wants to eventually go into finance and “use that knowledge and experience” to professionally aid educational non-profits. Harlem Lacrosse is just the beginning.