Each of the finalists will receive a $1,000 scholarship award and one winner will receive an additional $5,000 award toward his or her education as well as recognition during a pre-game ceremony with the Jones family on Friday, April 7. The winner will also advance to compete in Maryland's Youth of the Year competition. The winner of the state competition will advance to the Northeast finals before potentially earning an opportunity to compete for National Youth of the Year honors.
"When I am visiting Boys & Girls Clubs in Baltimore, I always tell the children that getting a good education and working hard in school are the most important things they can do to be successful in life," said Jones. "I firmly believe that education can open any door for a child, regardless of the hardships and challenges he or she may face in their lives. Education makes anything possible, so it is very gratifying for my family to be able to work together with the Orioles to fund this Youth of the Year Scholarship program, which will give deserving teenagers an opportunity to further their education and follow their dreams."
Also funded by this joint donation, the O'Donnell Heights Club multi-purpose gymnasium will undergo several renovations including installation of a new ceiling and flooring system, new basketball backboards and hoops, and athletic wall padding, as well as newly-sealed and painted walls. Located at 1200 Gusryan Street in Baltimore, the club is the only provider of dedicated youth development space, after-school programming, and family support services in the O'Donnell Heights community. The gymnasium is a crucial part of the club's operation, as it allows children to stay active year-round. It also serves as a banquet hall for community events, a gathering place for the distribution of school supplies, a study area where children do their homework and participate in their summer reading program, and where youth are provided countless nutritious meals on a year-round basis.
"Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore is so very proud and honored to have been able to partner with Adam, Audie, and the Orioles," said Kenneth R. Darden, President & CEO. "The partnership overall has had a phenomenal impact on our members and their families. We can never thank Adam, Audie, and the Orioles enough for what they have done on behalf of the children of Baltimore City."
Jones has been recognized for his extraordinary commitment to giving back to youth in Baltimore as the winner of the Brooks Robinson Community Service Award, the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, the Governor's Service Award, and the Oriole Way Award (three times), as well as being named the Orioles' nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award (three times) and for the Heart and Hustle Award (four times). Over the last four years, Jones, a former Boys & Girls Clubs member, has teamed up with the Orioles to help renovate four Boys & Girls Clubs in Baltimore while jointly donating more than $300,000 to the organization.