The academy will serve to enhance and enrich the participants' academic achievements, and expose participants to life skills training, positive peer development, career opportunities, personal development and health and wellness. It will not only promote their future through individual growth, but also build their résumé, and provide exposure to experiences encouraged for college entrance.
Minor League Baseball Charities will provide funding for the academy, which will also include influential speakers from the baseball world and beyond, as well as field trips, within its curriculum.
"Minor League Baseball is uniquely positioned to play a pivotal role in the development of young people in this country," Minor League Baseball president, Pat O'Conner, said. "Our grass roots traditions enable us to participate in positive experiences for our young fans and their families across America.
"The Minor League Baseball Youth Leadership Academy is one more example of Minor League Baseball taking a leadership role in our communities. It will be a privilege and honor to host the inaugural class of the Youth Leadership Academy, and set these young people on a positive path in their lives."
The Albuquerque Isotopes, Brooklyn Cyclones, Iowa Cubs, Lexington Legends, New Britain Rock Cats, New Orleans Zephyrs, Omaha Storm Chasers, Savannah Sand Gnats and Tri-City ValleyCats will each identify and choose up to four youths whom they feel have done something significant to deserve this opportunity and would benefit from the experience.
The impetus for the Youth Leadership Academy was a similar program executed last summer, when MiLB Charities worked with the New Orleans Public Library and New Orleans City Council to provide 40 youths from that city with a week-long, all-expense paid recreational and educational trip to VBSV.
The importance of education, health and wellness, as well as a special session with Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, about "Breaking Barriers," were some of the elements of that August program. Participating youths were able to share in an experience that enhanced their lives and world view beyond their immediate surroundings.
About Minor League Baseball Charities
Minor League Baseball Charities is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to giving back to and enhancing the communities our teams call home. Through donations and support it receives from fans, teams and partners, MiLB Charities is able to contribute to local organizations in times of need, and support causes that are important to our extended baseball family. Minor League Baseball Charities is affiliated with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. Those interested in supporting MiLB Charities can send donations to: Minor League Baseball Charities, P.O. Box A, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.