Teen Dream

NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS

By Christopher Mahoney

A Lake Hogan Farms teenager is volunteering to coach three younger neighbors in lacrosse each morning.

Gabriel Werner, age 15, plays varsity lacrosse at Chapel Hill High School and helped lead the team to a 4-0 record before his season was suspended because of COVID-19. This has not stopped Gabriel.

He maintains an impressive daily routine of lacrosse practice and weight training. His passion for lacrosse is only matched by his generosity as he coaches my son, Emerson, and his two friends. Gabe’s love for lacrosse and his personal commitment of teaching these boys has been one of the beautiful experiences to come out of this time of quarantine.

As his neighbor, I can attest to the genuine effort and kindness that Gabriel brings to lacrosse each morning. Gabriel is a natural teacher. When Gabe started, the boys were unable to catch or throw. In just a few months, they all now can catch, throw and run some basic plays.

As a new family to Lake Hogan Farms, we hoped that Emerson would make friends. How lucky we are to live next door to Gabriel. He is a young man who takes the time to open up his heart and to be a positive role model for Emerson and the others kids on the street.

Today’s world makes it difficult to appreciate the genuine goodness of others. The choices a few teenagers make can often paint all teenagers as more trouble than helpful. Not in Lake Hogan Farms.

I could not be more proud of Gabriel. The selfless choices he made gave my son and his two friends memories that will last a lifetime.

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