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Major Leaguers award $40,000 in college scholarships to student volunteers

Major League Baseball players will award $2,000 college scholarships to 20 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.

Announced to coincide with National Volunteer Recognition Week (April 21-27), the scholarship awards are based on the volunteer activities, academic achievements and leadership skills of high school students serving as Action Team Captains -- those students responsible for planning and organizing Action Team-related volunteer activities and encouraging their peers to heed the call to get involved. This school year, Major Leaguers and more than 900 Action Team Captains in 130 high schools across the country are working together to inspire and train the next generation of volunteers.

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 Pittsburgh Pirates, Eric Young Jr. of the Colorado Rockies and Brad Ziegler of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"Based on the increasing number of scholarship applications, it's clear to me that the Action Team program is having a profound impact in communities across the country. It's an honor to work with Action Team Captains; they are doing some inspiring and amazing work," stated Young.

"I've been judging Action Team scholarships for the past four years, and from year to year I've witnessed a tremendous level of growth in the community involvement of Action Team Captains. Major Leaguers are proud of Action Team Captains everywhere, as their selfless acts set an example for everyone to follow," added Ziegler.

"It was difficult to select scholarship winners because they're all doing such a great job. To each and every Action Team Captain: Thank you! Volunteer Recognition Week offers us the chance to thank all volunteers, most of whom serve important roles in our communities," said Melancon.

The Action Team was launched in Denver in 2003, and to date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 64,000 students to serve over 204,000 people in need. There are Action Teams in 34 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and Japan, and each month the Action Team Captains participate in a conference call hosted by legendary broadcaster George Grande that features a Major Leaguer and an "Action Team High School of the Month."

Action Team Captains receive free posters, DVDs, T-shirts and brochures to help support their efforts. They are also invited to attend Action Team training sessions at the beginning of the school year 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.

Action Team applications and additional information can be received by sending a request to [email protected] or by visiting To view a brief Action Team video, please visit the Players Trust channel on YouTube at

Receiving scholarships from the Major League Baseball Players Trust are:


Brytani Anderson Kansas City, Kan. J.C. Harmon HS
Alicia Ballesteros Wailuku, Hawaii St. Anthony Jr/Sr HS
Christopher Brinich Lakewood, Ohio Lakewood HS
Rafael Canales Dallas Texas North Dallas HS
Brenda Carbajal Everett, Wash. Mariner HS
Jacob Goad Plant City, Fla. Plant City HS
Meaghan Hamel Saco, Maine Thornton Academy
Kevin Hernandez Long Island City, N.Y. Queens Voc. & Tech. School
Karen Jacques Saco, Maine Thornton Academy
Amberly Khamsaly Sultan, Wash. Sultan HS
Anna LeValley Arlington, Va. HB Woodlawn HS
Kaitlin Lopez Wailuku, Hawaii St. Anthony Jr/Sr HS
Uloma Okoro Lynwood, Wash. Meadowdale HS
Gabriel Ortuno Dallas, Texas North Dallas HS
Brittany Pearsall Lakewood, Ohio Lakewood HS
Katelyn Pierson Saco, Maine Thornton Academy
Isaiah Ragasa Wailuku, Hawaii St. Anthony Jr/Sr HS
Nathaniel Rodriguez Long Island City, N.Y. Queens Voc. & Tech. School
Erika Sprague West Deptford, N.J. West Deptford HS
Christopher Szablewski Calumet City, Ill. Thornton Fractional North HS

Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. In partnership with Volunteers of America, the national human service organization, the Players Trust created and helps administer the Action Team, a national youth volunteer initiative currently inspiring the next generation of volunteers in cities throughout the United States. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit

Follow the Players Trust on Twitter @MLBPlayersTrust.