The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks and @LosDbacks) will be honored this Thursday, June 30, by the Dominican Republic Sports & Education Academy (DRSEA) at its sixth annual "Making a Difference in the Dominican Republic" event in New York. The team will be recognized for its one-of-a-kind educational program for prospects that has earned significant praise in both countries since its inception in 2014.
"We are extremely proud of this program which allows our prospects to continue their education while they make strides in their baseball careers," said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. "As we have said many times, we know that not every player we sign will reach the Major Leagues or even a U.S.-based minor league affiliate, but they will all be afforded the opportunity to get their high school education free of charge."
The D-backs will be represented at the event by Sr. Vice President of Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer Marian Rhodes, Coordinator of Latin American Operations Hatuey "Chuy" Mendoza and Education Coordinator Marcos Rosa, who have each played a vital role in the creation and implementation of the first-of-its-kind program. The event will take place at 6 p.m. ET at the 809 Club, located at 112 Dyckman Street in New York.
According to the DRSEA, the D-backs are one of just two teams with a mandatory education program and will be honored for "the team's consistent outstanding and sustained commitment to the advancement of Dominicans and the Dominican Republic."
The unique part of the D-backs program is that prospects continue to have their educated funded by the team even if they are no longer playing in the organization. To date, 15 players have graduated in the first two classes.
The program stemmed from a promise made by Hall to the president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, and directed by Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick in 2013 that the team would provide the youth of his country with the best education among all 30 franchises. The program includes players being required to attend school two days per week for four hours with assigned tutors and with weekly progress evaluations performed by the education committee. Each student is provided with a laptop computer and the team covers the cost of tuition for each player.
"We are honored to salute the D-Backs," said Samuel A. Brooks, chairman of the DRSEA Board of Trustees. "The team has set a standard to change the lives of its players and make the Dominican Republic a better place."
Harold Mendez, co-founder and treasurer of the DRSEA Board of Trustees, added, "It is important to the DRSEA to recognize those who truly make a difference in the Dominican Republic, who embrace a philosophy of developing the total player, and with that in mind we are truly honored to pay tribute to the contributions of the Diamondbacks."