Cusabo Scholars Overview

Cusabo Scholars Overview

Picture Caption

Cusabo Scholars on the CNL Travel Team have a big time with Ward Bitter after big wins and a whole lot of lacrosse at the November 2017 Fall Palmetto Classic in Ravenel, SC. Each year Bitter Lacrosse conducts a November and June US Lacrosse Sanctioned Tournament for the US Lacrosse National Championships.

Post Friday Night Lights, December 2014

Following the success of the Friday Night Lights program we have continued to Give It by offering additional free clinics in the spring and fall at Harmon Field and Hampton Park. We bring 50 sets of generously donated lacrosse equipment to erase the cost barrier to play the sport. These clinics are aligned with our mission to expand opportunities to play lacrosse as the fields are readily accessible and walking distance to an underserved population of new lacrosse players. The clinics ultimately increase the number of players and also bring a diversity of players to the Spring Lacrosse Rec league and other lacrosse programs.


Cusabo Scholars After School Co-Curriculum Program

Our Vision:

Through relationship, trust, and commitment, together we can listen to each other to discover new opportunities in life.

Our Mission:

To support the urban children of Charleston off of the lacrosse (sports) field so that they can succeed in life: family, school, workplace and our community.

From the Sports Field to the Classroom to the Community:

Cusabo Scholars, a subsidiary of Cusabo Nation Lacrosse, was developed in order to bring Cusabo Nation’s Mission to fruition by providing support to players off the field. During daily tutoring sessions, children receive a snack, mentoring in social/emotional development, tutoring (most specifically in literacy and math), and academic enrichment (such as field trips and speakers). Cusabo Scholars also are given the opportunity of a summer camp experience.


Co-Curriculum Collaboration

By developing strong bonds of trust with Parents and Players Cusabo Scholars Collaborates the Classroom Teachers, Mentors, Parents, and Coaches to develop the whole student athlete. Through authentic communications, shared values, and common leadership virtues we believe in harnessing the growth mindset of the child and creating a safe and loving community of assistance.



Cusabo Nation Lacrosse (CNL), a 501c3 non-profit, began in 2013 with a mission to expand awareness and opportunities for all children to play youth lacrosse in the greater Charleston area. CNL has partnered with the City of Charleston Recreation Department to provide lacrosse offering from grade 1 through high school, especially those that live downtown. CNL’s vision is “Learn it, Live it, Give it” through teaching life skills and citizenry via the game of lacrosse, developing friendships across various identity markers, and becoming community leaders. CNL maintains four lacrosse fields at 2045 Austin Avenue (property owned by the City of Charleston). CNL is a non-partisan organization, providing programming to eligible participants without respect to race, religion, gender, age, ability, sex, orientation, nationality, or color.



Cusabo Scholars was developed to bring the organization’s vision to fruition by providing support to CNL players off the field. In weekly after-school settings, children received a snack, informal mentoring, and tutoring (most specifically in literacy and math). To date, Cusabo Scholars has served students ages 7-14 at James Simons, most of whom score in bottom 20% of their class in reading and/or math. However, given the demand for the program among players at various downtown schools, CNL is growing this offering to serve more players by partnering with the College of Charleston. CNL supports success of Cusabo Scholars off the lacrosse (sports) field in family, school, workplace, and our community.



In 2017 CNL partnered with the College of Charleston to create CusaboScholars@CofC. This program served 10 children in the Fall and Spring of 2017. Meeting Monday through Thursday from 3:30-5:30 in a room in the Education Center (25 St. Philip St) designated for its use, scholars received snack/meal provided by the Lowcountry Food Bank, tutoring and formalized mentorship, made connections between athletics, academics, citizenry, and service in community. This unique partnership pairs Cusabo Scholars with College of Charleston students, introducing them to college-life and larger communities, and providing opportunities for academic enrichment (field trips and speakers) via CofC campus. Our relationship with the College of Charleston Women’s and Men’s Lacrosse club made this relationship possible in that the College viewed Cusabo as a long standing partner that was making a difference for our community.


Goals of the program include:

  1. Developing life and social/emotional well being through mindfulness reflective of culturally relevant practices that can be used in all contexts (classrooms, sports fields, community)
  2. Providing academic support and enrichment
  3. Promoting leadership development
  4. Exposing mentees to college and career opportunities
  5. Supporting service learning opportunities

CusaboScholars@CofC are CNL players. Participation is voluntary and free to CNL families who express need. Families sign consent and participation agreements to work collaboratively for the benefit of the Cusabo Scholar across the established growth community whose members include Cusabo Scholars, mentors/tutors, families, teachers, and coaches. CusaboScholars@CofC site coordinator will maintain communication of Cusabo Scholars’ progress across the growth community. Cusabo Scholars@CofC will either walk or ride the CNL bus from a central location to CofC for programming and will be picked up by bus at 5:30 for athletic programming (either at the 2045 Austin Avenue fields or at Hampton Park).



Dr. Margaret Hagood, Program Director

Ms. Joycee Darby, Site Coordinator

See the Home Page

And to Learn More About Cusabo Scholars and being a Student or Parent Mentor see our Overview Presentation