The high school drop out rate for black males across the country gives the appearance that they don't have an interest in education. Some may think they aren’t smart, but I think it’s because there’s something missing; something that’s not keeping them connected and interested. Something is keeping them connected and interested, however, in crime and avoiding education.
Our country spends millions of dollars on the incarceration of young black males; even to the point that municipalities use the third grade reading scores of young, black male students to determine how many jails and prisons to build. Really? Isn’t that sad that in America we’ve figured out a way to determine whether a child is a complete loss to society by the third grade?
In Atlanta, L.E.A.D. has created a way to make sure that every child we serve is an asset to society. With 83% of our young men earning college baseball scholarships opportunities and 100% of them going to college, we’ve created a system that uses baseball as a tool to save those who society deems lost, unsalvageable, and without value.
Why baseball? Because in baseball you succeed by failing and making adjustments; and if you continue to practice and persevere, you can become consistently better over time. There’s no instant gratification in baseball and the same is true for life. Anything that comes too quick won’t last.
So what is the formula for success? I can’t speak for everywhere else, but here in Atlanta it’s:
• L.E.A.D. (Athletics, Academics, Service, Exposure) + Inner City Youth = Success!