The Atlanta Braves recently announced the recipients of the 2012 Atlanta Braves Scholarship presented by Publix Super Markets. Six Georgia seniors received a scholarship of $2,000 and complimentary tickets to the Braves vs. Reds game where they were recognized on field prior to the first pitch.
As we reviewed the more than 1,000 applications that were submitted, we were inspired by the multitude of essays proving that the spirit of service is alive in the younger generation and that young men and women are dedicated to making a positive impact in such a variety of ways. The following students were selected as the 2012 scholarship recipients based on their community service, essay, high school transcript, and letter of recommendation:
L-R: Brenda Reid, Publix Super Markets Media and Community Relations Manager; Chloe Beacham, Dawson County High School; Yeager Gaston, Lowndes High School; Hannah Grayson, Ringgold High School; Elan Joseph, Greater Atlanta Christian School; Pace Tyson, West Laurens High School; Jennifer Wang, Northview High School; Cristhian Martinez, Braves Pitcher.
We felt inclined to promote some of the groups these Braves Scholars have become involved with in hopes of inspiring other Braves fans to find unique ways in which they can give back to their own community. Several of these programs were created by the students themselves. Below are excerpts from the winning essays:
Chloe: I created a group for other high school girls in my school who were suffering from Crohn`s Disease called “Crohn`s Cuties”. Together we help each other through the day and we are more comfortable in our school because of the bond we share. My attention to the needs of the students has helped my community come together and I have created a safer and more open environment in my school.
Chloe is also involved with a number of organizations including the United Community Bank of Dawsonville`s Junior Board, Senior Center of Dawsonville, and Special Olympics. She will attend Georgia College and State University.
Yeager: I am a musician and president of the Bands of Tomorrow Club at my school. One of the ways I have positively impacted my community is through the benefit concerts I have organized for families in need. I was able to persuade others in the community to pitch in. Radio stations gave us free air time for advertisement, local bands volunteered to play, and local businesses made donations to help us set up the events.
Yeager has helped the community through peer mentoring, volunteering at blood drives, and hosting multiple events to assist community members suffering hardships. Yeager will attend the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Hannah: My sister and I and two other friends started “Kids Helping Kids-Operation School Supplies”. We collected school supplies for families in need and for our local schools. This endeavor started small but grew quickly. We collected over a two thousand school supply items. The donated items came from drop off sites we advertised and from calls from the public. We had calls for donations from all over the state and from neighboring states. With all the donations, we set up an inventory site. We then set up donation distribution sites all across the county. We donated the supplies to many families at these sites. “Kids Helping Kids” collaborated with our local Department of Family and Children Services to get the needed supplies to families.
Hannah also volunteers on a regular basis, is an active part of her youth group, and raises money each year for Relay for Life. Hannah will attend Truett-McConnell College.
Elan: I created a program for students of immigrant families at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The program was designed to encourage these students to excel in school through tutoring and mentoring. Unfortunately, the families were not able to transport the children to and from the center after school. The parents however did come, by public transportation, after work to the English as a second language (ESL) class. So I decided to transition into that program. I was happy to be a part of the lives of my students, teaching them not only English but American culture. Increased knowledge of English not only helped the individual student, but their families as well.
Elan has traveled to multiple countries through different programs to learn about other cultures and find ways to give back to the local residents. He will attend Columbia University.
Pace: After talking with VA officials, I learned that there was no program in place to provide furniture, appliances, clothing, dishes, cookware, blankets and other household goods when a veteran had completed a VA program in our area. I called a family friend who serves on the Department of Veterans Affairs ‘Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans’. I sat down with pen and paper and created “Soldier On”, a program to benefit these men and women. A local non-profit agreed that we could become a component of their organization since our missions were similar. We challenged friends and neighbors to search their attics for items they no longer used. My Mom and I rented a storage building and began collecting items. In two and a half years we have distributed flyers, recruited 18 volunteers, secured four storage buildings, collected over $70,000.00 in goods and donations, and served 86 veterans.
Pace has been recognized by many different organizations for the efforts of “Soldier On”. He is also very involved in performing arts, athletics, and writing groups. He will attend Middle Georgia College.
Jennifer: My friend Cathy and I founded 121Reach Northview, a free, one-on-one tutoring organization with high school tutors and middle school students. Over the past two years, 121Reach Northview has grown from its 30 tutors and 20 tutees to 50 tutors and a limit of 50 tutees with a waitlist a mile long. Our reputation has spread quickly within the middle school, and we are trying to develop a better method for accepting students who really need the help and not those who use 121Reach as a daycare program. I have high hopes for the future, and I know I will continue to help out with the program even in college because I am excited to see it grow and mature.
Jennifer is also Co-President of Beta Club, Vice-Captain of Debate Team, and is involved in performing arts. Jennifer will attend the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Congratulations to our Braves Scholars for leading the class of 2012 both in the classroom and in their respective communities. These students have stepped up to the plate, shown a passion for community service, and each of them exemplifies the Braves Give values!
On Saturday, April 14, the Atlanta Braves hosted 16 little league teams from the metro-Atlanta area for the Inaugural Jackie Robinson Baseball Invitational presented by Delta Air Lines.
Held as part of the Jackson Robinson Day festivities in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of Mr. Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball, the round-robin tournament took place at the Atlanta Braves Baseball Academy located at the Villages at Carver Family YMCA. Participating teams attended the Braves vs. Brewers game the following day, and the winning teams and one representative from each participating team were honored during a special pregame presentation on the field.
During Saturday’s tournament, the youth enjoyed a special visit from the grandson of Jackie Robinson, Jesse Simms, and Braves center fielder Michael Bourn. Simms and Bourn took photos with each team and spoke with them about the importance of working hard and having fun through the game of baseball.
Take a look at some photos from the day as well as our exclusive interview with Michael Bourn as he shared some stories and advice for the kids participating in the event.
Baseball season lasts from April through October, but the Atlanta Braves’ commitment to the community is year round. The mission of this blog is to give you an inside look into the Braves Community Affairs Department and to share our community outreach and Braves Foundation programs, events and news throughout the year!
Braves Give is the Atlanta Braves’ community outreach initiative that touches the lives of thousands of youth in metro Atlanta and the southeastern region through the pillars of education, recreation and health. With the support and generosity of our fans and corporate partners, our outreach efforts express our commitment to our neighbors that reaches beyond the walls of Turner Field and into the hearts and homes of the many people who support our team.
Make sure to check back to see how the Atlanta Braves are making an impact both on and off the field. Go Braves!