Major League Baseball and Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the makers of ARM & HAMMER™, named Diamond Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Cheyenne DeGross (Montgomery County, Md.) as recipients of the 2020 “Jennie Finch Empowerment Award Presented by ARM & HAMMER,” which this year is honoring young women who demonstrated powerful characteristics such as Leadership, Motivation, Commitment, Humility and Integrity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Diamond and Cheyenne will each receive a $10,000 college scholarship courtesy of ARM & HAMMER™.
Following is an announcement video and information on the 2020 Jennie Finch Empowerment Award recipients:
Diamond Smith: During the stay-at-home guidelines enacted by citywide officials in Cincinnati, Diamond served her community by being a frontline worker, working 35+ hours per week at Walmart. Diamond continued to excel at school, graduated and is now continuing her education at Miami University in Ohio. VIDEO
Cheyenne DeGross: During the pandemic, Cheyenne volunteered at a nursing home, and kept residents in good spirits by constructing handmade cards with individualized notes of encouragement. Moreover, as a member of the Minds Matter club at her school, she created videos and PowerPoint presentations about the importance of mental health awareness during the pandemic. She was also a counselor at St. Veronica’s Church, providing spiritual support, leading group prayer, facilitating activities, and re-enacting biblical stories. Cheyenne is currently a Junior in High School. VIDEO
A blue-ribbon panel, which included Finch – an Olympic Gold Medalist, Collegiate Softball Champion, and MLB Youth Softball Ambassador – selected athletes among a pool of candidates who are active participants of Softball Development programming led by Major League Baseball.
“We are incredibly proud of both Diamond and Cheyenne for their valuable contributions to their community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kim Ng, Senior Vice President of Baseball & Softball Development, MLB. “We thank Church & Dwight for joining us in highlighting the strong and empowered young women within our programs.”
“Through our partnership with Major League Baseball and Jennie Finch, we are committed to champion Girls Youth Softball development and female empowerment. We are honored to celebrate these young women who embody the strong values the award represents,” said Cindy Manzo, Marketing Manager, Church & Dwight.
The partnership with ARM & HAMMER is a continuation of MLB’s commitment to the growth of softball, which has included naming several MLB Youth Softball Ambassadors (Finch, Olympic Gold Medalist Natasha Watley and Women’s College World Series Champion Lauren Chamberlain), as well as partnering with USA Softball to provide annual top-level amateur development events, and supporting the Olympic Softball Team and their “Stand Beside Her” training tour in 2020 and 2021.