**Gio Abreu, St. Raymonds HS, New York
Let's look at this, there is a man in Harlem New York who with little fanfare and absolutely no money, has changed over 300 African-American and Latino men's lives in the Village of Harlem through his work with the Harlem Baseball Hitting Academy.
The Harlem based Academy has graduated 290 men out of college over 10 of the members have MBAs.
270 Bachelors Degrees
3 Doctorates and they have never lost a child to the streets of Harlem ,
The South Bronx and Washington Height's All who have come through the doors have graduated
with a college degree.
They boast a roster of the Who's
Who of baseball players from the New York Metropolitan Area, but the greatest accomplishment is these kids come from places like the Saint Nicholas Projects the Polo Grounds, homeless shelters, almost 70% of the kids in this program are headed by single-parent homes.
Even though Baseball is the thing that draws them in, its education that keeps them in, The Harlem Baseball Hitting Academy Inc Academy boast members who graduated from Stanford University, Tufts University, Princeton University, The University of Pennsylvania, Morehouse College, UCLA, Temple University, University of South Carolina,The University of Virginia, Bucknell University, and too many to name.
The Academy has over 10 of their members who have graduated summa cum laude, In 2019, 12 current members received Division I and Division II baseball scholarship now making over 310 players who have received baseball scholarships.
The academic achievement at the Harlem Baseball Hitting Academy Inc is one of continued success but it's the baseball tradition that sets HBHA apart from a lot of academies.
Over 70 players in HBHA have won
P.S.A.L, Catholic League and
Private School championships.
This academy has had 5 of its alumni win National NCAA Division I Championships
American League Championship MVP Winner the 2018 World Series
Winner of a 2018 Gold Glove
2016 Major League All-Star Starter
55 Perfect Game All Americans
25 Under Armor All American
10 Aflac All Americans
5 Team USA Gold Medal Winners
4 Gatorade Players of the Year
for the State of New York
And a place in the
National Baseball Hall of Fame
The Harlem Baseball Hitting
What makes this so unique is that HBHA has no workout facilities they use the streets of Harlem as the place of working out.
This Academy has no permanent workout space so the streets no matter June,July or January the streets are where you will find the Academy doing its yearly workouts,
When it gets too cold they will use public spaces that they have to pay for which eats in their very limited budget.
Youman Wilder the Founder and President
Harlem Baseball Hitting Academy Inc has been the driving force in making sure young men make decisions that will further their life and their futures.
Wilder who was born and raised in Brooklyn New York, attended
Thomas Jefferson High School,
where he and 1982 1st overall draft pick Shawon Dunston would set offensive records that still stand today.
With absolutely very little help has put hundreds of young men who are at risk into college with a 100% college graduation rate.
It does not matter where the person lives,
in the projects, in a homeless shelter or is blessed to have all the things that one needs to live with, you are expected to not just play baseball but prepare your self for life.
The model at the Harlem Baseball Hitting Academy Inc is simple