Monday, January 28, 2013

"They" Will Love It At Lovett

For the second year, over 150 middle school baseball student/athletes from Atlanta Public Schools will receive a baseball clinic experience on the campus of The Lovett School on Sunday, February 10th. 

They will be picked up at their respected schools and travel through parts of Buckhead and see a community that looks different than theirs.  The houses may be bigger but that doesn't make the Buckhead community "better" but it will allow them to see something "different". A different way of life. A different perception of community. 

When I traveled through Buckhead as a youth, I dreamed of having "that house" and "that car". Good exposure is a good thing because it can cause you to focus on good things. The decisions that you make can now be based on getting the good things in life. It makes you think about what you feel that you should have. You can never know what you need until you know what you are missing. 

Last night, the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors joined the Lovett Lions varsity baseball players at D-BAT Atlanta to plan for the Feb. 10th clinic. We have pitching, infield, outfield, and hitting stations on the development schedule. The normal stuff that you do at a baseball clinic except our middle school LEADers will be doing it with the use of a multi-million dollar baseball/ softball facility while receiving instruction from the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors and the Lovett baseball team. This experience is different. Good folks coming together to have a good time at the right place at the right time. Wanna join us?

L.E.A.D.'s Middle School Baseball Development League continues to grow since 2010 when it was established. We now partner with over 60% of Atlanta Public School middle schools. You will find a year round baseball presence at Jean Childs Young MS, B.E.S.T. Academy, Sylvan Hills MS, Harper-Archer MS, J. E. Brown MS, J. F. Kennedy MS, W. L. Parks MS and M. L. King MS. These LEADers earn their way to becoming a L.E.A.D. Ambassador. Click here to find out the impact that L.E.A.D. Ambassadors have on the city of Atlanta. 

L.E.A.D. stands for Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct and we measure our success year round based on academics, athletics, service/civic engagement and exposure. I will go out on a limb to say that our collaboration with The Lovett School on Sunday, Feb. 10th will be a great day of exposure for our LEADers. They are going to love it at Lovett.

You can love it too! To volunteer, contact

Special thanks to Billy Peebles (The Lovett School Headmaster), Charlie Finch (The Lovett School Assistant Athletic Director), Lance Oubs (The Lovett School Head Varsity Baseball Coach), Jamie Palmer (The Lovett School Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach), Rendell Jackson (Atlanta Public Schools Middle School Athletics Program Manager), Kelli Stewart (L.E.A.D. Co-Founder/Executive Director), Kerwin Giles (L.E.A.D. Middle School Director), Bakari Moore (B.E.S.T. Academy), Kevin Young (M. L. King MS), D'Wayne Carter (W. L. Parks MS), Brandon Johnson (J. F. Kennedy MS), Sedrick Parker (Sylvan Hills MS), Harry Moss (J. E. Brown MS), and Malcolm Shell (Harper-Archer MS) for making this event possible. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

More Than A Career Day At Grove Park Elementary...It's A Networking Event

Every fall, over 52,000 Atlanta Public School (APS) students start a new school year eager to see their friends and teachers. They can count on a rigorous work load and two much needed breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They can also count on having "Career Day" every year.

There are a lot of great things to brag about Atlanta Public Schools but the students need more exposure to career opportunities to make the education process relevant.  Every child may not know exactly what they want to be when they grow up but every child should have a "DREAM JOB!"

Professionals come to the school to empower students by sharing their careers every year. While I was a student at Grove Park Elementary in the early 80's, I remember a career day speaker telling the class about his career as an entrepreneur. It intrigued me so much that it became my back up plan to becoming a Major League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs. Now I realize that entrepreneurs work hard every day so that we don't have to get a job. 

I have participated in several Career Day events and I always leave wondering if I made an impact or if the students were bored like I was sometimes as a student.  Unless we meet the students "where they are", we run the risk of having them feel that "I can't do that."  If we don't connect with them, we can't empower them.

What if the students could request the career day speakers that they wanted to hear from? What if they could read the bio of the speaker before they arrived? What if the speaker received a comment card or blog from the students afterwards that would allow him/her to know what the students learned. And what if the speakers presentation was captured in a binder so that the students and parents could have access to it when he/she leaves?

A good career day speaker is going to capture the attention of students but in order for it to truly be impactful, that presentation must remain accessible to the students.

I'm excited about this years Career Day at Grove Park because the students were surveyed and here are the careers that they want to be exposed to.

Baseball Player
Basketball Player
Bus/Truck Driver
Day Care Owner
Dog Sitter
FBI Agent
Fashion Designer
Football Player
Hockey Player
Medical Assistant
Music Producer
Nail Technician
News Reporter
Pastry Chef
Police Officer
Private Investigator
Professional Cheerleader
Radio Personality
Race Car Driver
Restaurant Owner/Caterer
Song Writer
Sports Manager/Agent
Video Game Designer

Prior to your arrival, the students need a short bio as well as a guideline of your presentation. Be prepared for them to have some great questions because you have the career that they requested.

When you leave, the students will discuss their notes and follow up with a comment card or blog for you. And most of all, your presentation will remain in the school for the students and parents to view for the remainder of the school year. The careers of our speakers will be on display in the Parent Center to empower the parents. There are millions of jobs that will exist in 2023 that haven't been created yet. I know for sure that my job as a professional baseball swing coach didn't exist when I was in elementary school.

Grove Park's Career Day is more than a Day. It is a networking opportunity for the students. We want the Career Day speakers to become possible employers for the Grove Park students.  This is how you transform communities.

Careers don't start when you are an adult. It starts during childhood. To have a rewarding career, you simply need something that you are passionate about, a quality education, a skill and a strong network.

I hope that you choose to join me on Friday, March 8th for Career Day at Grove Park Elementary School. For more information, contact Mrs. Ramia Cook, School Counselor at or (404) 802-7750 office.

Grove Park Elementary School
20 Evelyn Way Northwest
Atlanta‎ GA‎ 30318

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dr. King's Dream Lives!

What an amazing day this is that God the Father has blessed us with once again!

On January 15, 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, GA and today we celebrate his birthday as well as his legacy.

Dr. King's dream lives through my Pastor Craig L. Oliver of Elizabeth Baptist Church.  At Elizabeth, our mission is "To lovingly lead the lost into a relationship with Jesus Christ and to develop mature believers.  We believe in Glorifying Christ by fulfilling the Great Commission and the Great Commandment = GC3.  It is a blessing to hear God's Word at my church and have the opportunity to act on it by serving youth in Atlanta.

L.E.A.D. Ambassador Harold Grego and Minister Tim Sims of Elizabeth Baptist Church
Dr. King's dream lives through the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors.  L.E.A.D.'s mission is to provided at-risk youth males with access to higher education and civic engagement through baseball.  Click here to check out our impact stats.

Dr. King's dream lives through me.  I believe in the youth of Atlanta.  One day this city will awake to see the negative light removed from the face of inner city Atlanta African-American youth males.  When the high school graduation rate of African-American males increase, my name will be mentioned.  When the crime rate of African-American males decreases, my name will be mentioned.  I am committed to the mission of L.E.A.D.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr.'s Day and it will be celebrated in over 100 countries across the world.  This is a day on and not a day off.  How will you serve others today?  How will you serve others throughout 2013?  When you leave this world, what will be your legacy?

Today, the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors will serve again as marshalls for the Martin Luther King Day March.  This is an amazing honor.  May God bless our country and our leaders!

Dr. King's dream wants to live through you!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Two Winning Teams In Atlanta

Falcons arose to the challenge yesterday and will play in the NFC Championship game against the 49ers. The media isn't giving us Falcons fans a chance in the world to win the game. The respect that we will get after we win the Super Bowl will be earned for sure.

Our personnel is awesome led by Matt Ryan. We have a great head coach in Mike Smith and a dedicated owner in Arthur Blank.

When the clock counts down to 0:00 and the Falcons are crowned champions, it will be because of great coaching. We added Mike Nolan as our defensive coordinator and Dirk Koetter as our offensive coordinator to an already talented defense led by Sean Witherspoon and look at what happened.

I'm looking forward to the Super Bowl but I can't wait until it is over so that we can officially get baseball kicked off in Atlanta with our 4th year of the L.E.A.D. Middle School Baseball Development League. This season's league will showcase great Atlanta Public School talent from J. Brown Middle School, J. Young MS, B.E.S.T. Academy, Sylvan Hills MS, Harper/Archer MS, J.F. Kennedy MS and MLK MS.

Thanks to a partnership with D-BAT Atlanta, all of our middle school teams remain active this winter training in a 22,000 sq. ft state of the art baseball facility.

Kelli and I have made additions to our executive board of directors as well as the LEADership Council. We are also gaining strong support from the Atlanta business community that will allow us to continue to add APS schools to our organization.

Unfortunately, the Falcons have more nay-sayers in Atlanta than fans but L.E.A.D. is a winning organization that we all can support. Join us throughout 2013 at

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

This is why you should want to meet the Ambassadors this Saturday

An Ambassador is an authorized representative or messenger.  A L.E.A.D. Ambassador is the highest level of accomplishment within the L.E.A.D. organization.  L.E.A.D. provides at-risk inner city youth males with access to higher education and civic engagement through baseball.  Our Ambassadors are high school males that attend Atlanta Public Schools (APS).  APS currently graduates 42% of it's African-American males.  82,000 of APS students live at or below the poverty level while the youth from zip codes 30310, 30315 and 30318 grow up to represent 80% of the Georgia State Prison population.

We measure success in four areas: academics, athletics, service/civic engagement and exposure.  We meet our Ambassadors where they are with regards to these four areas.  Several of them have never played baseball in their life.  We don't "creme from the top" by trying to find the best of APS.  We serve young men that need our help to succeed in life. Winning at the game of life is a challenge, but if you have the right mentorship and resources, it can be an enjoyable challenge.

Developing their baseball skills is not a problem when they have the opportunity to train with me and my Diamond Directors Certified coaching staff year round.  My successful track record of baseball development started in 1995 and over the years with the help of my mentors, I have created a proven training methodology through my for profit business Diamond Directors.  Click here to check out our impact stats for L.E.A.D.  We make the baseball skill stick with consistent monthly service and exposure opportunities throughout the city because it gives our Ambassadors a sense of belonging and investment.  As an organization, we serve over 3,500 hours annually in the community.

This Saturday, January 12th 1-3PM is your opportunity to Meet The Ambassadors at D-BAT Atlanta (2345 Adams Drive, NW, Atlanta 30318).

The L.E.A.D. Ambassadors were guests of GA Tech Athletic Director Paul Griffin at a recent GA Tech basketball game.
The L.E.A.D. Ambassadors are focused on using baseball to access college.  Education is important and with the rising cost of college tuition, receiving financial support through baseball makes the dream of attending college more of a reality.  As a collegiate student/athlete, you also have an advantage in the job market as a graduate.

Our L.E.A.D. Ambassadors love baseball but L.E.A.D. is so much more than bats and balls.  Ten years from now, you will trace several of the business and civic leaders in Georgia to the L.E.A.D. organization.  We are intentional about partnering with our families and serving their sons with excellence. 

The L.E.A.D. Ambassadors after receiving their Miller Brothers custom blazers on Dec. 2, 2012 at our  3rd Annual Dinner With Champions
So why should you want to meet the Ambassadors? You should want to meet the Ambassadors for the same reason that you put your hard earned money in a savings account - because they are an investment, they are our future.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

L.E.A.D. Movie Launch In 2013

2013 isn't promised to be a year of prosperity or doom. My prayer is that my family continues to abide in The Lord and do His will in 2013.

If I had the opportunity to write the script of 2013, scene number 1 of over 100 scenes would start with the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors sharing their baseball knowledge with 50 guests at D-BAT Atlanta (2345 Adams Drive, NW, Atlanta 30318) on Saturday, January 12th for our annual Meet The Ambassadors event and you are invited! Please contact to RSVP. To teach is to learn twice.

Scene 2 allows you to see our Ambassadors in service mode. The Ambassadors will once again serve as Grand Marshall's for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day March on Monday, January 21st. Dr. King's legacy continues through L.E.A.D. Service is so important to us that we measure it annually.

Scene 3 includes over 200 of our middle school LEADers receiving a baseball clinic experience on the campus of The Lovett School on Sunday, February 10th. The L.E.A.D. Ambassadors and The Lovett varsity baseball team under the leadership of head coach Lance Oubs will provide a baseball experience that will prime our LEADers for another amazing spring season. Great things happen when great partners collaborate.

In scene 4, you can march with the LEADers in our 3rd Annual L.E.A.D. Inner City Youth Baseball March. Baseball isn't dead in the inner city of Atlanta because L.E.A.D. is here.

I challenge you to serve others in 2013 with your time, talents and treasures. Come check out L.E.A.D. in 2013 as we write this script of change and legacy building in Atlanta!