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Press Release

04/23/2009 12:37 PM ET
Major Leaguers award scholarships to reward youth community service
Spotlight shines on student leaders during National Volunteer Week

NEW YORK -- Major League baseball players will award $1,000 college scholarships to 23 outstanding high school students in recognition of their dedication to community service and tireless efforts 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.

Scholarship awards are based on the volunteer activities, academic achievements and leadership abilities of high school students serving as Action Team Captains -- those students responsible for planning and organizing Action Team-related volunteer events and encouraging their peers to heed the call to get involved. This school-year, more than 50 Major Leaguers and 250 Action Team Captains in 22 locations across the country are working together to inspire and train a new generation of volunteers.

“It is an honor to recognize the outstanding efforts of our Action Team Captains by presenting them with college scholarships,” said Cleveland Indians second baseman, Josh Barfield, a member of the Cleveland Action Team and scholarship review committee. “It was quite inspiring to read all of the scholarship applications, and I’m truly amazed at how committed these young people are to helping those in need. They prove that you don’t have to be a celebrity to make a difference in the lives of others.”

The Action Team has expanded its reach every year since its launch in 2003, and, to date, has inspired more than 17,000 students to serve over 70,000 people in need. Beginning in September 2009, virtually every high school in America will be able to join the Action Team by participating in a new Internet version of this unique service-learning program. Action Team applications and additional information can be received by sending an e-mail request to ActionTeam@mlbpa.org.

Additionally, an Action Team, school-based curriculum developed by the Players Trust, in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition, carries the message of volunteerism and teaches valuable community service skills to 700,000 high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the United States. The Association of Educational Publishers named this innovative service-learning program a finalist for a 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award.

Action Team Captains receiving scholarships from the Major League Baseball Players Trust:

Shahab Azizi, Hercules Middle High School, Hercules, CA
Genevieve Bolinao, Immaculate Conception Academy, San Francisco, CA
Taurus Brackett, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School, Alexandria, VA
Brittany Clay, Baldwin County High School, Bay Minette, AL
Luis Espinoza, Queens Vocational and Technical High School, Queens, NY
Christopher Goins, Elder High School, Cincinnati, OH
Citlalli Gomez, YES Prep North Central, Houston, TX
J. Koury Hajjar, Boston College High School, Dorchester, MA
Mackenzie Hammon, Sultan High School, Sultan, WA
Victoria Lane, Waverly High School, Lansing, MI
Kimberly LeClair, Thornton Academy, Saco, ME
Aileen Mokuria, Skyline Center, Dallas, TX
Jessica Munoz, Mt. Eden High School, Hayward, CA
Kristen Orth, St. Anthony Junior Senior High School, Wailuku, HI
Elizabeth Othmer, St. Michael's High School, Santa Fe, NM
Jacob Ott, Lakewood High School, Lakewood, OH
Kevin Patterson, Denver School of the Arts, Denver, CO
Julianne Pilla, Gloucester Catholic High School, Gloucester City, NJ
Vanessa Sanchez, William Jones College Preparatory High School, Chicago, IL
Brooke Supan, New Palestine High School, New Palestine, IN
Aaron Sykes, Plant City High School, Plant City, FL
David Tranvik, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, St. Louis Park, MN
Anderson Vasquez, Colegio Nuestra Señora de Belén, San Juan, Puerto Rico