Wednesday, April 27, 2011

L.E.A.D. Volunteer and KSU pitcher Jeff Brown reflects on his time with Parks Middle School baseball players

As we face the different obstacles along the journey of leading our young men from being hopeless to hopeful, there are small things that happen to encourage, energize and reassure us that we are indeed doing what's good for baseball and our communities. 

The "small thing" today came from a Kennesaw State student, Jeff Brown, who selected L.E.A.D. as his volunteer project for his Education major. Please take a moment to read Jeff's reflection.

Jeff Brown at Parks Middle School baseball practice
My field experience was with the L.E.A.D. organization located in Atlanta. This is a nonprofit organization that is committed to having a significant impact on the number of inner city middle and high school students athletes playing competitive baseball to prepare them for college baseball scholarships. L.E.A.D. stands for Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct. The purpose of this organization is to get young African Americans involved in baseball in order to teach and develop them not only as a baseball player, but as a person in order to get them a college scholarship. The three basic programs that L.E.A.D. provides are the Middle School Baseball Development League, the Legacy Baseball Instructional League, and the Ambassador Program. I worked with the Middle School Baseball Development League and was connected with Coach Ford at Parks Middle School. This school is located in downtown Atlanta and is part of the Atlanta Public School System.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fork in the road

The L.E.A.D. Middle School Baseball Development League is going well. So well that our Leaders from our six partner APS middle schools are asking us to form a summer exposure team. The thought of a Junior Ambassadors team sounds so good.

Our middle school Leaders are faced with a very important week as they take the CRCT test. When this week is over, there are only a few more weeks until school is out for the summer. “What is there to look forward to” is the question that some of our Leaders have asked me.

Without summer baseball programs being offered at their neighborhood recreation center, they are left to be creative with their time this summer. I'm shaking my head as I type.

With the help of our L.E.A.D. Tailgate Club, we may be able to provide 15 scholarship opportunities to Junior Ambassadors for the summer. Making the selections from our current 90 league participants will be difficult but the reward will be sweet to Atlanta! They will have a unique opportunity to experience the L.E.A.D. Way which is excellence in Academics, Athletics, Service/Civic Engagement and Exposure. The things that they will learn this summer will truly allow them to be Ambassadors and be better prepared for school in the fall.

Recurring financial donations of any amount can be made at I also encourage you to meet some of our Leaders and high school Ambassadors for our L.E.A.D. Tailgate party before the Sunday, May 15th Braves vs. Phillies game at Turner Field. Check out our website so that you can get in on the action.  Here is your opportunity to help a young man who is at that fork in the road.  Your support will help him go in the right direction. L.E.A.D. him Today and Change his Tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Winning is everything to L.E.A.D.'s Tailgate Club

Everyone has some type of connection to America's game whether you know it or not.  Baseball has been with our country through the good times and bad times.  Some of us cheer for the hometown Braves and some of us are just simply fans of baseball all the way down to the little leagues.

L.E.A.D. uses baseball in the inner city of Atlanta to help middle and high school students access college through baseball.  We currently offer up to 60 scholarships to middle and high school student/athletes in our fall Legacy League as well as up to 90 scholarships to six APS middle schools during our spring Middle School Development League.  We choose 18 high school Ambassadors from the Legacy League to represent the elite level of L.E.A.D. from the spring through the summer.

To date, 100% of our Ambassadors have graduated from high school and entered college while 87% of them have received athletic scholarships. We could do so much more with more student-athletes if YOU join our Tailgate Club.

The L.E.A.D. Tailgate Club consists of individuals within the Atlanta community and beyond that:
  • Attend games and cheer on our awesome Leaders and Ambassadors!
  • Donate money and time on a recurring basis
  • Participate in community service activities
  • Share your expertise by donating your professional services or holding seminars for our Leaders and/or families
  • Spread the word about L.E.A.D. to all your friends
  • Watch for emails about activities you can attend or ways you can get involved
Be a part of a winning team as we help our young men win at the game of life. Join the Tailgate Club today at where you can also view blogs from our Ambassadors as well as our 2011 event schedule.  Spread the word!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baseball isn't dead in the inner city of Atlanta

Spring is the time of year when things come alive. For a long time, baseball has been considered "dead" in the inner city of Atlanta. Thanks to L.E.A.D. in 2007, baseball is alive as a year round sport in the inner city of Atlanta. 

Our four pillars of excellence for L.E.A.D. is athletics, academics, service/civic engagement and exposure and we measure each of them. We currently serve families in the Dekalb County, South Fulton and Atlanta Public School System. 

We have three programs that serve middle and high school age boys that strive to use baseball to access college. They are the Legacy League Fall Instructional League (August-November), Middle School Development League (March-May) and the Ambassadors (November-August). 

Our families have faith in L.E.A.D. to help make their dreams a reality. To date, 100% of our Ambassadors have graduated from high school an enrolled in college. 87% of our Ambassadors have enrolled in college with athletic scholarships. 

On Saturday, April 23rd, L.E.A.D. will host its Opening Day Ceremony for our Middle School Development League as well as our 1st Annual Inner City Youth Baseball March. This march will show the world that baseball is alive in the inner city of Atlanta. It also gives L.E.A.D. an opportunity to welcome Major League Baseball and the Civil Rights game to the home of the Civil Rights Movement. 

The Civil Rights game is Major League Baseball's effort to honor the role that the Civil Rights Movement had on the advancement of African American's being allowed to play America's game at the highest level. 

Spring is here as well as youth baseball in Atlanta. Please join L.E.A.D. as we celebrate youth development in the name of baseball on Saturday, April 23rd at Perkerson Park. Our youth in the inner city of Atlanta are our assets. As they win on and off the baseball field, Atlanta wins!