Bridgeport, Conn.-University of Bridgeport women's lacrosse student-athlete Alexis Malvaso represented the Purple Knights on a mission trip to Jamaica in June of 2017. A product of Jordan Elbridge High School in upstate New York, Malvaso is currently a junior and plans to graduate from UB one year early. The trip was in conjunction with a program called Field of Growth. Field of Growth, under the direction of founder Kevin Dugan, aim to attract passionate college athletes looking to give back through international service, global learning and youth sport development.
During her week in Jamaica, Alexis coached at a local lacrosse camp which ran for five weeks throughout the summer. In the afternoon during her time on the island, she traveled to local communities and participated in activities such as delivering care packages and assisting in their community development. Malvaso and her triplet sisters interacted with young locals, playing a variety of sports. She said, "It was a great opportunity to learn and experience their culture and their way of life."
This was not Alexis' first trip to Jamaica, as her connection with this program formed in high school. Malvaso said, "People come from all over the country to participate in this program. A typical group that comes down is anywhere from 6-10 people." Field of Growth requested that the participants bring two bags of lacrosse equipment as donations for the locals. "The kids are always so thankful and happy to get a stick to play with and bring home to use," noted Malvaso.
"My experiences in Jamaica have been life changing and eye opening," Malvaso stated in summation of her time serving with Field of Growth. "From the first time I went down to this last trip, the changes that have happened due to this program are just amazing."
In regards to the growth of the program, Malvaso explained that, "In 2015 there were only about 15 girls at camp, and they have now doubled that number. The girls have come such a long way in the past two years." She also was impressed with the turnaround in the facilities there. "The fields that we used to play on in Trench Town that were a little rough are now covered in grass making things a whole lot better."
This past season Malvaso stepped up for the Purple Knights, transitioning to defense seamlessly in order to fill the team's need for more depth at the position.
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