Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My 36th birthday request

Did you know that it cost the state of Georgia $73,000 per year ($200 per day) to incarcerate one juvenile? Did you also know that youth from the 30310, 30315 and 30318 zip codes grow up to represent 80% of the prison population? With a 34% graduation of African-American males from the Atlanta Public School System, it is time to invest in organizations that are delivering change for our youth.

Since 2007, L.E.A.D. has graduated 100% of our Ambassadors from high school with 100% of them enrolling in college. 89% of the Ambassadors have enrolled with a baseball scholarship. For $3,000 per year, L.E.A.D. puts/keeps middle and high school age African-American males on track to enroll in college.

The problem is obvious and through L.E.A.D., the solution is now even more obvious.

On Tuesday, April 10th, I will turn 36 years of age. For my birthday, I would like for you to donate $6 to L.E.A.D. as well as 3 of your friends.  My goal is to raise $3,600.00 by April 10th.

Baseball has giving me purpose throughout my life and I have committed my life to serving youth through baseball. Without purpose and hope, you have nothing and graduating from high school becomes less important.

Your financial support of L.E.A.D.'s mission will allow us to effectively serve more youth in Atlanta.


I hope I can shake your hand in the near future at one of our upcoming baseball games or events. Click here to find a date that fits your schedule so that you can see your donation in action.

How do you change LEADing today!

Monday, March 26, 2012

To say that African-Americans don't want to play baseball is blasphemy

"To understand the road ahead, ask those coming back. Success leaves clues." This is my favorite Chinese Proverb.

I had an amazing conversation this morning with Mr. Lyndon A. Wade who is a graduate of Booker T. Washington and Morehouse College.  He said that "today's youth in Atlanta will never know what they need to become until they know where they have come from." Mr. Lyndon Wade was a standout student and athlete representing the Atlanta Public School System.  He played during a time when it was said that "you weren't a man if you didn't play baseball." Charles Easley Sr.

L.E.A.D. is an acronym that stands for Launch, Expose, Advise and Direct. L.E.A.D. directs young men towards their promise by using the historical journey of past legends in baseball and the community as the road map.

L.E.A.D. can't go wrong following the legacy of Mr. Lyndon Wade.  Click here to learn more about this living legend who I consider to be a heartbeat of Atlanta.

Baseball has been a strong part of the African-American culture since the beginning of time just as our belief in Jesus Christ.  To say that African-Americans don't want to play baseball is blasphemy. Even during the days of slavery, African-Americans played baseball.

On my watch, baseball will return strong in the inner city of Atlanta with your support.  Come out and experience L.E.A.D.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We choose to fly stealth

L.E.A.D. has successfully used baseball to afford several inner city Atlanta males the opportunity to access college but we continue to fly stealth. Baseball hasn't become totally relevant in the inner city yet.

Today will be the last day of signing week as our six partner middle school LEADers sign their L.E.A.D. scholarship. Coach Kelli Stewart, Kerwin Giles, Crystal Giles and I will be at John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle Schools today.  This signing experience plants the seed for them to sign a baseball scholarship on National Signing Day of their senior year of high school.

Their are currently less than 6% of African-American males competing in baseball at the NCAA level. The numbers are so low because it cost thousands of dollars annually for a high school baseball player to compete for limited college baseball scholarships. If you don't have the money, you don't get the exposure.  Period.  Every problem presents an opportunity which is why L.E.A.D. has a .890 batting average. Check out our stats!

On Friday, March 23rd, you will hear the drums of the Atlanta Braves and Booker T. Washington High School drum line playing during Atlanta's first inner city baseball pep rally at Booker T. Washington High School. Our student-athletes in L.E.A.D. are assets to this city as well as celebrities. Come join us as we make a big deal out of youth baseball in Atlanta.

I have a little time left to write so I will tease you about our upcoming 2nd Annual Inner City Youth Baseball March that will celebrate the legacy and future of baseball in the inner city of Atlanta. Did you know that 1969's MLB World Series MVP Don Clendenon (NY Mets) graduated from Atlanta's own Booker T. Washington High School and enrolled in Morehouse College before a successful professional baseball career? Did you know that 100% of L.E.A.D.'s Ambassadors graduate from high school and enroll in college while 89% receive baseball scholarships? Check out our events calendar so that you don't miss an opportunity to march with us.

I love being able to make authentic impact daily through L.E.A.D. That commitment has developed young men that are civic minded change agents in Atlanta. We choose to fly stealth but we won't be under the radar in America for long.