L.E.A.D for Youth Q1 2021

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Q1, 2021

for Youth

Featured photo: Alum Tyler Williams At-Bat Against Texas Tech

IN THIS ISSUE Ambassador Accomplishments Welcoming New Board Members L.E.A.D. Coaching Certification: Building a Bridge Between Baseball and Commerce

Sign up to Receive L.E.A.D. for Youth




L.E.A.D. CENTER FOR YOUTH THE COMMUNITY SPEAKS PT. 2 We are excited about our new home in the West End community at The Met, the L.E.A.D. Center for Youth.

take a look at what the community is saying about us:

AMBASSADOR SPOTLIGHT Jahad Johnson: Mr. Douglass

Jahad is a senior at the illustrious Frederick Douglass High School, named after the iconic abolitionist, author and orator. When Jahad graduates this year, he will join the ranks of many prominent Atlantans, including Rev. Bernice King, Sheriff Patrick Labat, Emmett D. Johnson (former APS school board member), Councilman Michael Julian Bond, Atlanta City Council Presidential Candidate Courtney English, Richard Cox (Cox Enterprises) and our very own, Madame Mayor, Keisha Lance-Bottoms. When Jahad enters Kennesaw State next year, he will be empowered by the love and support of his family, his school community and his L.E.A.D. Ambassador family.

As part of the Mr. Douglass festivities, V-103’s evening show featured Jahad. As you can tell, he was uber excited. We are so proud of Jahad!


“My academic goal is to complete my educational journey before 2028, obtaining a J.D. Ed. from a prestigious university,” Austin shared. “Outside of my role as a scholar, I have always searched for innovative solutions to make the world a better place. This search led me to create Very Individual Protection, aka VIP. VIP is designed to combat sexual assault and fight human trafficking by allowing individuals to quickly send an alert and summon help when in danger. My goal is to bring the VIP app to college campuses nationwide, starting in America’s southeastern region."

AUSTIN EVANS And just like that, an undergrad degree from Texas A&M is in the books for Ambassador Alum Austin Evans. Austin’s future endeavors include pursuing a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration, where his concentration will be innovative education.


TYLER WILLIAMS Ambassador Alum Tyler Williams started his collegiate athletic career this year as a freshman at Texas Southern University, an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in Houston. Tyler is an infielder for the Tigers and he experienced his first college hit this month against Texas Tech.

DEANGELO NOWELL Ambassador Alum DeAngelo “Delo” Nowell started his collegiate athletic career this year as a freshman at Tuskegee University, a storied HBCU in Tuskegee, Alabama. Delo picked up his first collegiate win on the mound against Kentucky State University this month.

JAVIEN WOODS Javien started his collegiate athletic career in 2020 as a freshman at Lane College, an HBCU located in Jackson, Tennessee. Javien is a starting pitcher for the Lane College Dragons, and on March 28, 2021, Javien picked up the save in 2.1 innings of relief against rival school Spring Hill College. His save clinched Lane's first ever win against Spring Hill.


GEORGIA'S OWN MEMBERS STEP UP TO THE PLATE FOR L.E.A.D. In February to kick off Black History Month, Georgia’s Own Credit Union reached out to its members to help raise funds to support L.E.A.D.’s year-round programs. In addition to monetary support, this campaign included social media posts that highlighted the transformational work we do in Atlanta every day. We’re excited to share that Georgia’s Own members, along with a match from the Georgia’s Own Foundation, raised:




Asst. Athletic Director, ATL Public Schools I was first introduced to L.E.A.D. in October 2010 upon stepping into the role of Coordinator of Baseball for Atlanta Public Schools Department of Athletics. As a mainstay and champion of Service in Atlanta Public Schools, L.E.A.D. has inspired both myself and students to work on changing the City of Atlanta through one of its greatest resources student-athletes. From the first L.E.A.D. sponsored APS Baseball All-Star Game at Turner Field, or the countless numbers of studentathletes now playing college baseball or simply attending college due to L.E.A.D.’s influence, the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Public Schools win. It is my desire to help continue carrying that torch.

Nick Slappy

VP of Safety & Resource Management, Southern Company Gas I am honored to be a part of L.E.A.D.’s Board of Directors. My initial L.E.A.D. interaction was from a colleague who has been associated with the program. His discussion around the mission of L.E.A.D. piqued my curiosity because I too believe sports has had a great influence on my life and career. After the discussion with my colleague, C.J. called to give me the “heart” of L.E.A.D. His passion that day, coupled with the fact that we discussed philosophical opportunities for the program, brought more excitement in the direction the program was headed. Lastly, I had a chance to connect with Dez Thornton and Kevin Donovan about L.E.A.D. which brought home the mission. I’m excited to be able to support and give back to the community in such a positive way.

Felix Turner

Corporate Affairs Manager, The Kroger Company It's about making a positive impact, a difference in the lives of young Black boys and men. I'm excited about the opportunity to help build character, confidence, and a spirit of service through civic engagement.

Jason Washington VP & Investment Portfolio Manager, Truist What attracted me to L.E.A.D. is the opportunity to be a part of an organization helping young men reach their goals. I look forward to being a vessel to assist in any way possible.

Click here for a complete listing of L.E.A.D.'s Board of Directors and Leadership Advisory Council members.

LEADERSHIP ADVISORY COUNCIL: ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY Throughout its history, L.E.A.D. has had the benefit of the passion, energy, and expertise of many leaders throughout the community, both as board members and as high profile advocates for L.E.A.D.’s mission to empower an at-risk generation to lead and transform our community. The new Leadership Advisory Council formalizes the relationship between L.E.A.D. and these leaders, providing ongoing access to their valuable guidance, support, and advocacy while also promoting their affiliation with one of Atlanta's most dynamic and transformational non-profits. With the opening of the new L.E.A.D. Center for Youth, L.E.A.D. has started a new chapter, "graduating" to an organization that is poised to deliver a much greater impact upon our next generation, and by extension, the entire Atlanta community. The Leadership Advisory Council is just one part of the exciting progress to come.

Lisa Baker Community Relations Specialist

Kevin Donovan Development Director, POWER 10

*D.J. Huyck President, The Mac Group

Ty Lord Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend *Monte Wilson GVP, Global Built Environment Market Director, Jacobs ***Joseph McCrary Sr. Analyst Accounting & Reporting, CSM Bakery Solutions *L.E.A.D Executive Board Service | **L.E.A.D Ambassador Alum

Empowering youth


In February, we launched our Coaching Certification Program; a new, innovative program that speaks to two issues relevant to inner-city youth and the decline of baseball in inner-city communities: - Lack of opportunities to earn money - Lack of trained, diverse baseball coaches in the community

Our Chief Visionary Officer, C.J. Stewart, says that Black boys in Atlanta are over mentored and under sponsored. This is one of the reasons that commerce is one of our organizational pillars. We believe that providing Black youth with mentorship (guidance, insight, knowledge) and sponsorship (paid internships/apprenticeships, jobs) is the most authentic way to demonstrate care for our youths’ present and futures. While the rhetoric in baseball regarding the decline of Black youth participation says its due to a preference for football and basketball, we believe it’s rooted in a more fundamental premise. Children deserve and desire to be a part of organizations that are properly administered.

Just like we fight to ensure schools have the proper resources needed to educate our children, youth sports programs require that same fight. Because baseball’s “pay-to-play” travel ball system has made player development a requirement to achieve and maintain a roster spot at the amateur level, it has become necessary to have more experienced and knowledgeable coaches, even at the volunteer level.

In addition, it’s very difficult to compete for the limited high school and college baseball opportunities without the help of paying a professional coach. And because race matters, it’s easier to gravitate to a sport where you see more people who look like you on the field and in positions surrounding the field of play. We are excited to see how L.E.A.D. Certified Coaches will show up as quality volunteer coaches in their communities and trusted professionals in the for profit part of the sector for years to come.

If your baseball player would like to schedule a session with one of our L.E.A.D. Certified Ambassador Instructors, email info@lead2legacy.org for more information.

PROGRAM STATS YEAR TO DATE: 4 Ambassadors Certified 72 Hours Completed $950 Earned


L.E.A.D. founders, C.J. and Kelli Stewart, have been chosen by adidas® as honorees for the brand’s #HonoringBlackExcellence initiative. There is no picture of sport, culture, or adidas® without the Black community. Honoring Black Excellence is an adidas® initiative celebrating the achievements of Black individuals, and Black culture as a whole. Throughout the year, we’ll highlight six honorees from different sports, offering a platform to give back and share their stories.

Much love to the adidas® Baseball team** and the film crew for this amazing opportunity

PROJECT CREDITS * - https://www.adidas.com/us/honoring_black_excellence ** - All adidas® Baseball team members are not pictured

NUTRITION STATION Ninety-eight percent (98%) of L.E.A.D. participants receive free or reduced lunch. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the stress on our families' already lean budgets. With children at home all day through the school year due to virtual learning and increased food costs related to the pandemic, grocery needs are increasing while income is not. We reached out to our friends at Kroger for help and we partnered to create the Kroger Nutrition Station at The L.E.A.D. Center For Youth. The station features a commercial, side-by-side fridge/freezer to store prepared meals and multi-tiered shelving for dry goods. Along with funding from Kroger to help stock the station, we’ve also partnered with local African-American culinary professionals to provide culturally inspired, nutritious meals for our Ambassadors to take home for themselves and their families after their events at our facility. Shout out to the following chefs who are partnering with us on this food-security effort:

Gensen Scott - @gaexpressmeals James Bryant - @exquisitetasteakb Kelsey Gantt - @CheffKelzKookz “Kroger is committed to making the world a better place. Our Purpose is to Feed the Human Spirit™ – to uplift families, communities and each other. Throughout metro Atlanta, one-in-five children live in households that are food insecure. The creation of a nutrition station inside the L.E.A.D. Center for Youth directly aligns with Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan and our vision to end hunger in the places we call home by 2025. We hope our partnership will help the Ambassadors and their families fight food insecurity and hunger to lead their City of Atlanta to lead the world.”

- Felix Turner | Corporate Affair Manager, Kroger

Breaking Barriers


However people show up in your life is how you'll perceive them. Our Breaking Barriers Baseball Camp was created because two White moms from Buckhead decided they wanted their sons to have authentic, positive relationships with teenage Black boys from Atlanta's inner-city communities. They didn't want their sons relying on what they saw on the news or what they heard from friends concerning Black youth from different socio-economic backgrounds - they wanted them to know for themselves. So these courageous moms, Shannon Cofield and Annie Everett, got together with our Chief Visionary Officer, C.J. Stewart, and created Breaking Barriers Baseball Camps.

OUR BREAKING BARRIERS BASEBALL CAMP IS AN INNOVATIVE OFFERING THAT TACKLES SO MANY ISSUES FACING THE BLACK COMMUNITY AND OUR SOCIETY AS A WHOLE, INCLUDING: Breaking down racial barriers: Racism thrives off of fear of the unknown. Without personal interactions with people who are different from us, we're most likely to get our information about them from the media. This isn't good for Black males because they are most often portrayed as criminals and predators in movies and video games. News media outlets are oftentimes not fair and balanced, reporting more heavily on crime and violence in Black communities creating the perception that Black people are more violent than other races. That's a lot for a kid to take on. Through Breaking Barriers, our Ambassadors get to show up as the kid who knows so much about baseball that he's been entrusted to teach other kids about the sport. Not the waterboy. Not the carjacker. But as a knowledgeable, trusted baseball coach. Lack of job opportunities for inner-city, Black youth: Ambassadors in good standing are selected to be coaches at our camps giving them a meaningful and fun summer job opportunity. Empowerment: We define empowerment as giving someone responsibility and authority. As camp coaches, Ambassadors show up in this space as the experts and this positioning boosts their confidence and self-esteem. Communities are connected: People who would otherwise have no reason to connect with each other, are now connected through the power of baseball. Baseball has consistently done this for society throughout our nation's history. LEAD is simply using baseball's blueprint in an innovative way to bridge the racial gap between Black and White youth.

SIGN UP FOR OUR 2021 CAMPS TODAY! Breaking Barriers Baseball Camp at The Lovett School | June 21st - 25th

REGISTER HERE Breaking Barriers Baseball Camp at The Trinity School | July 26th - 30th


If you would like to become a sponsor by providing summer job opportunities for the Ambassadors, reach out to Annie or Shannon at: everettannie@gmail.com | shannonc619@bellsouth.net



WELCOME TO THE TEAM | 1ST RD. DRAFT PICKS We are excited to welcome two new team members to the LEAD staff. Coach Raeven King is our first Director of Programs and Coach Rashad Roundtree (aka Coach Tree) is our first Program Coordinator. In addition to shared experiences as our Ambassadors, they both have a love for sports based youth development. Their experiences as student-athletes and professionally as program personnel makes them the right fit for LEAD.

COACH RAEVEN DI Collegiate Athlete (Basketball) | Wichita State Professional Athlete | Switzerland (Espérance Sportive Pully) & Denmark (Lemvig Basket) Side Gig: Photography Favorite Quote: To be great is to be misunderstood. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

COACH TREE 5-Star High School StudentAthlete DI Collegiate Athlete/Football | University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) Side Gig: DJ Favorite Quote: A tree is known by the fruit it bears.

Character is a muscle that has to be trained. That's why one of our signature programming components is Core Value Training (CVT). Our six organizational core values are: excellence, humility, integrity, loyalty, stewardship and teamwork. To make these values come to life, our coaching staff uses various character building material with the main one being Habitudes for Athletes. During Winter Workouts, our Core Value Coach, Kevin Young, facilitates discussion with the Ambassadors about various Habitudes images.

In the spring, we teamed up with one of the best youth team building coaches in the game, Lucas Farmer of Camp Grace, to bring those Habitudes to life in real time. We asked Lucas to share his feedback on the event - his words are below:

What was your mission relative to this core value training? Lucas: Through our team building, we aimed to engage our student-athletes in challenges which would enforce and highlight CVT taught in the classroom. It was a time to apply the knowledge that they had gained.

Being able to communicate effectively and be accountable for one’s strengths and challenges are a few requirements for problem solving and teamwork. Talk about these attributes relative to how the Ambassadors engaged with each other: Lucas: The challenges presented cannot be completed individually. Every group quickly jumped into the tasks. With each group, there were outspoken leaders and quiet individuals. I was impressed how well they would learn from their mistakes and pivot the team strategy to reach the goal. During one particular challenge where normally human competitiveness overtakes teamwork/humility, they quickly sussed out this problem and came together to complete the objective.

Share an insightful moment you witnessed and what made it stand out? Lucas: What stood out was every group's resilience to failure. I intentionally make things challenging and to a degree promote failure because the emotions failure brings out is a part of life. To keep coming back to the drawing board and try something new is how you battle and I saw that in these student-athletes.

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