Mets Wrap Up Citi Field Kids Season With Pre-Game Educational Program
To close out the 2013 Citi Field Kids season, the Mets hosted a motivational and educational program prior to yesterday’s 11-3 blowout out of the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. LaTroy Hawkins and Robert Carson among many other speakers were on hand to share words of wisdom with over 200 YMCA of Greater New York teens that participate in various YMCA programs throughout the year.
The event began with a short video documenting the nine values and ideals of Jackie Robinson – courage, integrity, determination, persistence, citizenship, justice, commitment, teamwork and excellence. Following the conclusion of the video, Michelle Yu of SNY–acting as the master of ceremonies–told her own story of overcoming obstacles to become the first female Asian-American sports reporter in the New York area prior to introducing a series of guest speakers.
Karissa Royster, a San Antonio native, spoke to the young audience about her story of her dream to attend NYU, and with the help of the Jackie Robinson Foundation scholarship, was able to make that dream a reality.
“I was nervous because I am not necessarily used to speaking in front of people,” said Royster while watching the game following the YMCA event. “But it was a wonderful opportunity to share Jackie’s legacy with young people and to further encourage them to put in the hard work it takes to achieve the dream they may have.”
Following Royster, a number of other Jackie Robinson Foundation scholarship recipients addressed the teens, one of them being Choumika Simonis, who was able to attend Cornell University thanks to the foundation’s efforts. Simonis says the scholarship only encouraged her to work harder in school.
“The Jackie Robinson Foundation scholarship had a tremendous impact on my collegiate career,” said Simonis. “It motivated me to be better than my best. The mentors we had motivated me to take it to the next level, better myself and to strive for excellence.”
Next came the 2013 Mets Kidcaster contest winner Johnny Gadamowitz, exemplified his perseverance when after multiple unsuccessful entries in the contest, finally got the call he was waiting for, getting the chance broadcast half of an August 9th inning at Citi Field against Colorado. When he came up to speak, Michelle Yu asked if he would one day take her job, to which he shrugged and smiled. Gadamowitz said he enjoyed having the opportunity to speak to the teens, most of which were all older than him.
“I had a lot of fun doing it,” said Gadamowitz. “I hope everyone who listened was inspired. It was a great experience.”
The program wrapped up with the arrival of Hawkins and Carson teaching about the importance of financial responsibility. Hawkins did the majority of the talking, saying that throughout his entire career he has invested in his 401K significantly, and consistently tells the younger players like Carson to follow suit.
At the conclusion of the program, Hawkins and Carson surprised one of the teens with the opportunity to hand the lineup cards to the umpires at batting practice and meet Terry Collins, Ryne Sandberg and several Mets players. Those in attendance received gift bags and tickets to the Mets vs. Phillies game.
Citi Field Kids, now in its fifth season, is a community-based initiative for New York City middle and high school students developed by Citi in collaboration with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Mets and various community-based organizations. Citi Field Kids was launched on April 15, 2009, in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s annual Jackie Robinson Day.
About the Author: Clayton Collier
Clayton, a Long Island native and die-hard Mets fan, started writing online about three years ago. He is currently a Journalism major with a minor in Broadcasting at Seton Hall University. Although very disappointed with the current state of the team, Clayton remains hopeful that the young prospects in the farm system will bring the Mets back to a respected franchise in baseball once again. Besides writing for MMO, Clayton is also a staff member at 89.5 WSOU, Seton Hall's modern active rock radio station. You can contact Clayton by following him on Twitter: @Clayton_Collier or E-mailing him at MaybeNextYearMets@yahoo.com
5 Comments + Add Comment
- El Sid: on ESPN New York: Justin Turner Cut For Not Hustling: Sacred baseball field was a said in...
- Spartacus: on ESPN New York: Justin Turner Cut For Not Hustling: If Minaya saw anything other than insurance...
- Joe: on Mets Ramping Up Efforts To Trade Daniel Murphy,: Do we really want David Wright to...
- BadBadLeroyBrown: on ESPN New York: Justin Turner Cut For Not Hustling: You are the clown not coyote.....Dont you...
- BadBadLeroyBrown: on Winter Meetings: Ike Davis Trade Not Imminent: I hope nobody offers them anything for...
Write For Metsmerized Online
Mets Merized Online is reloading and looking for new writers to help cover the Hot Stove Season. We're also looking for passionate writers who would like to contribute new and original features.
Contact us now at GetMetsmerized@aol.com for more info and join the #1 Mets Fansite on the web!
Check Out These Great MLB Links!
Mets Autograph Signings
Mets Fan Apparel
Mets Autographed Baseballs
Baseball Card Supplies
For the best seats and lowest MLB ticket prices, go to PurchaseSeats.com. Get your Mets Tickets now and follow them on the road with Yankees Tickets, Phillies Tickets, Nationals Tickets and Braves Tickets!