New York, NY, Monday, April 24, 2017 … Major League baseball players will award $2,000 college scholarships to 20 high school students who have demonstrated their dedication to community service and determination to encourage others to get involved with causes they believe in, it was announced today by the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Each scholarship recipient is a member of the Action Team® national youth volunteer program created and administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America.
In honor of National Volunteer Week, (April 23-29) the scholarship awards are based on the volunteer activities, academic achievements and leadership skills of high school students serving as Action Team Captains. These students take on the responsibility of planning and organizing Action Team-centric volunteer events while encouraging others to get involved in their communities.
This school-year, Major Leaguers and more than 500 Action Team Captains in 100 high schools across the country are working together to continue to inspire the next generation of volunteers, while helping those in their community in need. This is the tenth straight year the Players Trust has awarded college scholarships to recognize the efforts of Action Team Captains.
Each scholarship application was reviewed by a committee comprised of representatives of the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, and included Major Leaguers Mark Melancon of the San Francisco Giants and Craig Stammen of the San Diego Padres.
“On behalf of all Major League baseball players and our partners, Volunteers of America, the Players Trust is honored to take this opportunity during National Volunteer Week to recognize the outstanding commitment and passion for helping others that Action Team Captains across the country demonstrate on a daily basis,” stated Melissa Persaud, director of the Players Trust. “Also, it is with great pride that today we announce the winners of our 2017 Action Team scholarships. The scholarship winners’ dedication to their communities is truly inspiring, and all the more impressive because they’ve answered this calling so early on in their lives, while juggling school and other activities. I also want to thank Mark Melancon and Craig Stammen for their ongoing support of the Action Team, including their efforts to help us select our scholarship winners.”
Since its launch in 2003, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 91,000 high school students to serve over 280,000 people in need. There are Action Teams in 30 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, and at various times during the school year the Action Team Captains participate in conference calls hosted by legendary broadcaster George Grande that feature a Major Leaguer and an “Action Team High School of the Month.”
Action Team Captains receive free posters and T-shirts to help support their efforts. They are also invited to attend regional Action Team service projects featuring Major Leaguers and, in recognition of their efforts and accomplishments, they receive free tickets to Major League baseball games and certificates of achievement signed by Major Leaguers near the end of the school year.
Receiving scholarships from the Major League Baseball Players Trust are:
NAME/SCHOOL/CITY & STATE
Zainab Ali/Bergenfield HS/Bergenfield, NJ
Stephen Backman/Brunswick HS/Brunswick, ME
Aaron Carlton/Brunswick HS/Brunswick, ME
Kyra D’Costa/West Deptford HS/West Deptford Township, NJ
Allison Emery/Poland Regional HS/Poland, ME
Andrew Hershey/Bishop Ireton/Alexandria, VA
Nyjah Johnson/Seton Keough HS/Baltimore, MD
Keaton Layman/Kamiak HS/Mukilteo, WA
Morgan Lezotte/Manatee School for the Arts/Palmetto, FL
Kathryn Manzo/St. Stephen St. Agnes HS/Alexandria, VA
Matthew Mitnick/Westlake HS/Westlake Village, CA
Olivia Newsome/St. Stephen St. Agnes HS/Alexandria, VA
Jeanna Polisini/Westlake HS/Westlake Village, CA
Soraya Ragasa/St. Anthony Jr/Sr HS/Wailuku, HI
Ana Ramos/Thornton Fractional North/Calumet City, IL
Elizabeth Roy/Thornton Academy/Saco, ME
Hishaam Shafiq/King HS/Tampa, FL
John Toner/Wakefield HS/Arlington, VA
Juliana Walker/HB Woodlawn/Arlington, VA
Abbi Woodcock/Greenwood HS/Bowling Green, KY