We successfully launch educational opportunities by converting the raw baseball talent of inner city Atlanta middle and high school age males to skills that are attractive to college baseball coaches. When we successfully develop the talent of our L.E.A.D. Leaders and Ambassadors, it results into baseball scholarships.
In three years, we have sent 100% of our Ambassadors to college and 87% of them have received baseball scholarships. Only 43% of black males graduate from high school in Georgia. That leaves 57% of black males that have to find a way to pay for their education if they choose to enroll in college.
My parents didn't have a separate fund set up for me to attend college so I had to use baseball and academics to enter Georgia State University. There was no other way. Although I graduated from Westlake High School with a 3.5 GPA, I didn't have a single academic scholarship offered. The HOPE scholarship was a blessing to me and I used it along with my baseball scholarship and financial aid to make my dream of going to college a reality.
At the end of the day, without baseball, there is no way that I value my education enough to graduate from high school and go to college. I just couldn't see how Algebra or Earth Science was going to lead me to a successful job. I knew that getting an A in the class would help my chances of being recruited for baseball so I buckled down and got the A. Without baseball, there is no way that I become one of the top baseball instructors in the country. There is no way that I accept mentor as a word to describe myself. There is no way that I value my marriage and fatherhood. There is no way that L.E.A.D. exists!
This is that time of year when people ask "Why is the number of African Americans in baseball declining?" Not only are young African Americans playing baseball in Atlanta, they are also successfully using baseball to access college.
With your help, I will continue to L.E.A.D. Today and Change Tomorrow! Join our Tailgate Club at Lead2Legacy.org.