The Urban Youth Academy was built to support the community, and the community is already returning that embrace. A New Orleans family announced Wednesday that it has established an annual scholarship that will be awarded to students who work out at the local Urban Youth Academy.
The scholarship, developed by the Jack Fielkow Scholarship Fund and the MLB Urban Youth Academy Foundation, will be awarded to students who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership and financial need. Members of the "Each One Save One" mentoring organization will also be eligible.
Arnie Fielkow, the former New Orleans City Council President and current chief executive officer of the NBA Retired Players Association, established the scholarship in the memory of his late father Jack Fielkow, and he said in an official statement that he was thrilled to give back to the community.
"I am very proud of this program that both honors the legacy of my late father, Jack Fielkow, and gives back to youth in my adopted hometown of New Orleans," he said. "Both the New Orleans MLB Urban Youth Academy and Each One Save One are tremendous assets for the youth of New Orleans and my family and I are very proud to partner with such outstanding organizations for this scholarship program."
Each One Save One is a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing the development of children in the New Orleans community, and it thrives by providing a legion of volunteer mentors. Cathy Harris, co-founder of Each One Save One, spoke about the benefits of the scholarship in a press release.
"Just as he has been a true supporter of youth in New Orleans, Arnie Fielkow has been a long-time supporter of Each One Save One," she said. "We are thrilled to have Arnie and his family once again behind us through this scholarship program in conjunction with the New Orleans MLB Urban Youth Academy."
The New Orleans Urban Youth Academy was opened in 2012 at Wesley Barrow Stadium, and it replaced a dilapidated facility that had been damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The academy is thriving and looking for ways to improve, which makes the community support all the more important.
"We are very excited that our kids will have this opportunity to secure a college scholarship," said Eddie Davis, manager of the New Orleans Urban Youth Academy. "We stress the importance of academic success and strong character just as much as we do the fundamentals on the field, so we are happy that they will have this chance to help them fulfill their dreams through higher education."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.