Peterson Gets Them in Gear

Sam Chambers
Caroline Peterson ‘27 turned a middle school history project into a lifetime of dreams for future lacrosse players at The Imani School.

Rosie Beniretto, 8th grade history teacher of 47 years at St. John’s, has helped shepherd thousands of students from middle school to high school. She is known in part for keeping students on task. This past spring, Ms. Beniretto assigned a community service capstone project. One of her students, Caroline Peterson, only needed the initial assignment to run with an idea she conceptualized on the lacrosse field years before. 

“What I have seen over the years is the development of this project,” said Beniretto.  “The students absolutely love it. They put their all into it, and it teaches them to become engaged citizens in our democracy.”

“I knew right away (for the project) that I wanted to help bring lacrosse to girls who would maybe not otherwise have the opportunity to play it,” said Peterson. “With the help of Mindy Bryan of Just Her Sports, Jerry Davis, and Coach Jeff Malone, I was able to make a connection with the Imani School which has been wanting to create a girls' lacrosse program for a very long time.” 

Peterson spent almost half a year on the project, far beyond the time frame of the original assignment. She collected lacrosse equipment from many sources, including Just Her Sports and Swizzle Sticks Lacrosse. On September 27, 2023, she dropped off over 30 sticks, goggles, balls, uniforms, pinnies, goalie gear, one lacrosse goal, and a check for $1000 to The Imani School.  

“I would say one of the most rewarding moments was when I was able to go to the Imani School and meet with Ms. Williams, the Head of School,” said Peterson. “She was so gracious and excited for her students. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Imani, helping to coach clinics, and/or hosting more equipment drives. Coach Amanda Bencosme, Coach John Vogel, Coach Jeff Malone, and Coach David Delemos were also instrumental in helping to make this project a success.”

Peterson is now in high school, and Beniretto has a new group of 8th graders. Both are making an impact by finding their passion and staying on task.

Sam Chambers - Athletic News
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