Breaking Barriers Baseball Camp
In July 2020, LEAD (Lead, Expose,, Advise, Direct) will be offering three Breaking Barriers Baseball Camps in Buckhead for elementary-school aged players. The Camps are led by former Chicago outfielder and LEAD co-founder CJ Stewart, who has been recognized as one of the top baseball player development professionals in the country, and high school student-athletes from Atlanta Public Schools who are members of LEAD’s Ambassador Program.
LEAD’s mission is to empower at-risk black youth from low-income Atlanta communities through its Pathway2Empowerement leadership programming, which uses the power of sports to empower middle and high school player-participants to live in sustainable lives of significance. LEAD uses the power of baseball to help youth overcome curveballs that threaten their success – crime, poverty and racism – to become leaders in Atlanta and the world. Among other things, LEAD seeks to expose its student-athletes to service and local enrichment activities that install a sense of responsibility, belonging and investment to become civically engaged leaders.
In 2018, a group of Buckhead parents approached CJ Stewart about starting a series of baseball camps for elementary school-aged children in the Buckhead community. Recognizing the opportunity to build on LEAD’s programming and bring together youth from different races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, and neighborhoods who would not otherwise come into contact with each other. In additional baseball skills , campers learn character development and leadership skills that will serve them on and off the field. For 2020, LEAD hopes to attract up to 300 campers, largely from the Buckhead Community, at three 5-day camps for elementary school aged children – two at Trinity School and another at Lovett School.
All proceeds from the Breaking Barriers Baseball Camp will be used to underwrite costs for LEAD Ambassadors participating in the Camps and to support LEAD’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. LEAD’s program participants come from low-income households that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The Emergency Fund supports LEAD’s #LoveLaughterHope Initiative providing outreach am emergency financial assistance to the 350 families of young men participating in various LEAD programs. As a result of the Emergency Fund, LEAD has been able to provide rent and utility assistance, groceries and hot meals, housing advocacy, and transportation and other supprt for parents considered essential workers.
Our ultimate goal is to develop the young men we serve into Ambassadors – civically engaged, consequential leaders who are prepared to lead and transform Atlanta. We have our eyes set on MISSION: 100 – having 100 Ambassadors in Atlanta Public Schools by 2026. When you answer the call and become a LEAD Champion, you help us get closer to this goal.