Former Duke lacrosse player teaching inner city girls sport and to achieve dreams
On an early Saturday morning in June, Callie Francis teaches girls how to cradle a lacrosse ball in their tiny hands.
“Keep it in your right hand, you’re a rightie?” she smiled.
Francis moved to Nashville two years ago as a Teach For America instructor in the North Nashville school district. The former college athlete teaches the sport outside the classroom although she knows many of her students have never heard about the sport.
“I just really want the kids to have the opportunity to play and to bring them to places that it was able to bring me. Once I kind of realized that it would be able to take me places that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to go I just got a whole new perspective on where it can take me. So I played at high school and Duke for four years and just always had a passion for it,” Francis said.
Francis said she wanted to expose her young students to the sport and encourages them to dream big beyond the inner city streets. When she was in high school, she said she focused more on her academics when she realized college recruits were interested in her.
“When they are exposed to athletics, college lacrosse, and they see where it can take them I’m hoping it can light a fire in them academically too,” she said.