By Kate Merrill

BOSTON (CBS) – Learning the lessons of life, on and off the playing field. That’s the goal of Boston’s MetroLacrosse, to help young people build a better future.

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On a Tuesday evening with the sun setting fast at Moakley Park in South Boston, about a dozen high school kids work hard to get in as much practice as they can.

It’s all part of the non-profit MetroLacrosse, a free program for city kids from 4th to 12th grade. About 700 young people participate every year.

“We want to provide our kids with the sports, which in turns builds their character and builds them as people,” says Eileen Barrer of MetroLacrosse.

They do that with a “RESPECT” curriculum which stands for Responsibility, Effort, Sportsmanship, Participation, Enthusiasm, Communication and Teamwork. “That curriculum is something that we instill both on and off the field,” says Barrer.

That’s why in addition to teaching lacrosse they hold a weekly “study hall” where kids can get homework help, prepare for the SATs and work on their college search.

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“Being a team is a lot of hard work and you get a lot of amazing things done, and it definitely channeled into my school work,” says Deyscha Smith, one of the teens on the team.

There’s also a mentor program for each student. “He’s always there. I can call him anytime, email him anytime, so he’s there 24-7,” says Dino Nguyen, another participant.

MetroLacrosse has put up some impressive numbers. Most kids in the program graduate from high school and go on to college, and they take a lot with them.

“It really builds character,” says Liam Donovan. “I’ll definitely carry with me how to work together and just how to put so much effort into something you care about and knowing if you keep trying you’ll always succeed,” says Katelyn Evans.

MetroLacrosse counts on donations to help keep the program in business. They’ll hold a “Faceoff at Fenway” on Nov. 15th.

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Let us know if you have any story ideas about people who are making a difference in their communities. Drop an email to Jackie Connally: jaconnally@boston.cbs.com

Kate Merrill