Major League Baseball Charities (MLB) has awarded college scholarships, valued at $5,000 each per year, to twelve high school seniors who participate in Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), the Major League Baseball youth baseball and softball initiative. The recipients are receiving the grants through the "RBI for RBI" Scholarship Fund, an initiative created in 2008 to provide financial support for select college-bound student-athletes who are selected based on academic record, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community activities and financial need. The recipients will be recognized at the 20th RBI World Series in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.
"The recipients of this scholarship are wonderful role models for all current and future RBI program participants," said Tom Brasuell, Vice President, Community Affairs, Major League Baseball. "Encouraging education and academic achievement is a key component of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, and Major League Baseball is proud to assist these young men and women as they work toward achieving their goals and realizing their dreams."
The 2012 RBI for RBI scholarship recipients are as follows (Name; Hometown; RBI League Name):
• Ta'Juan Dutrieuille; McKeesport, Pa.; Pittsburgh RBI: Will attend Penn State, Greater Allegheny as an engineering student. Throughout high school, he served as a volunteer on community service projects with the Boys & Girls Club of Western PA.
• Jacob Gavel; Kansas City, Mo.; KCK RBI: Plans to attend the University of Central Missouri in the fall, where he will study Actuary Science. In high school, he was active in band and baseball, and also served on the Youth Advisory Board for KCK RBI.
• Shannon Grant; Philadelphia, Pa.; Phillies RBI: Will be attending Kutztown University and pursue a degree in Education. Her dedication to education and community service is evidenced by her years as a hospital nurse's aid and a day-care volunteer student-teacher. She hopes to become a teacher to mentor young people to fulfill their potential and believe in a brighter future.
• Sixto Guerrerro; Sarasota, Fla.; Bradenton RBI: Plans to attend Claslin University as a business/finance student. He has battled illness to compile an impressive high school baseball career, and demonstrates his commitment to community by serving as a reading mentor at a local elementary school. He is on the Bradenton RBI Senior Division team that is competing in the 2012 RBI World Series.
• Aaron Lavergne; Houston, Texas; Houston RBI: Plans to attend Lamar University to study mechanical engineering. In high school, he spent four years as president and financial secretary of the Knights of Peter Claver, and has volunteered significant time with the Houston Food Bank and St. John's United Methodist Church.
• Drexel Lindsey; Opa-Locka, Fla.; Miami RBI: Plans to attend the University of West Florida to study economics or finance. He showed community commitment throughout high school, volunteering with 5000 Role Models of Excellence and March of Dimes. He hopes to come back to his community to improve the lives of young people.
• Jeremy Martinez; Howard Beach, N.Y.; Greater NY Sandlot Athletic Alliance: Will attend Kingsborough Community College in the fall to pursue a degree in criminal justice. He has demonstrated a commitment to helping others by volunteering with Catholic Charities, tutoring younger students in an after-school program and serving as a camp counselor for the Greater Ridgewood summer camp.
• Chineka McKinnie; Tampa, Fla.; Tampa RBI: Plans to attend Florida Gulf Coast University to earn a degree in child and youth studies. She has demonstrated leadership and mentorship throughout her high school career, volunteering with student government and as a junior cheer coach for the Tampa Bay Youth Football League.
• Raven Moseley; Largo, Fla.; Tampa RBI: Will attend the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in the fall to pursue a pharmaceutical degree. She was a National Honor Society member in high school, and committed more than 100 hours to volunteering at a local hospital and nursing home.
• Alexis Padilla; Houston, Texas; Houston RBI: Will be attending Paris Junior College to study Kinesiology. She is a National Honor Society member who has demonstrated leadership on the field as an assistant coach of a local youth softball league. She is on the Houston RBI Softball Division team that is competing in the 2012 RBI World Series.
• Quincee Sylvester; Tampa, Fla.; Tampa RBI: Plans to attend Hillsborough Community College to pursue a degree in Business Administration. She has been an active community volunteer since age 12 with a number of local organizations, including Mary Walker Apartments, Y.A.A.M.A.D. - Young African Americans Making a Difference, ASL-American Sign Language andYBOR City Boys & Girls Club.
• Jayla Vega; Hoboken, N.J.; Hoboken RBI: Will attend Fisher College in the fall. She is a National Honor Society member who has done volunteer work with St. Jude's Hospital, the American Cancer Society, and various fundraising efforts for aplastic anemia. She is on the Hoboken RBI Softball Division team that is competing in the 2012 RBI World Series.
The scholarships provide each recipient the opportunity to pursue any field of study at a two-year college, four-year college, university or vocational school in the United States or Puerto Rico. The need-based payments of up to $5,000 per year may be renewed for up to three years or until the award recipient has earned his or her training certificate, associate degree or bachelor's degree. The "RBI for RBI" scholarship fund is administered and funded by MLB.
About Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI)
The RBI program is a Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide opportunities to play baseball and softball, to encourage excellence and achievement in education and to teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons to underserved young people, ages 5 to 18, from underserved and diverse communities. The RBI program provides more than 200,000 boys and girls the opportunity to play baseball and softball in more than 300 programs established in more than 200 cities worldwide. MLB and its Clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. For more information, please visit: MLB.com/rbi.