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MLB.com

Press Release

03/09/2009 12:31 PM ET
Major Leaguers honor local student volunteers
Alex Cora, Felipe Lopez and J.C. Romero recognize student leaders from San Juan in program to encourage youth volunteerism

San Juan, PUERTO RICO -- During an on-field ceremony prior to this evening’s World Baseball Classic game between Puerto Rico and Netherlands, Team Puerto Rico players Alex Cora, Felipe Lopez and J.C. Romero will represent all Major Leaguers when they honor 10 San Juan-area high school students serving as Captains of the Puerto Rico Action Team®, a service-learning program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers. During the 2008-09 school-year, these Puerto Rico Action Team Captains raise awareness about the importance of community involvement among other students in their high school and organize volunteer activities.

Administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the Action Team program encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. To date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 17,000 high school students across the country to help over 70,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities, while an Action Team service-learning curriculum created by the Players Trust in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition teaches valuable community service skills to 700,000 high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the U.S. Visit the online companion to the print program.

Receiving signed certificates of achievement from the players tonight are 2008-09 Puerto Rico Action Team Captains from Colegio Belen in San Juan: Christopher Ayala, Alejandra Diaz, Angelica Diaz, Gabriel Garcia, Krizia Guillermety, Enrique Leal, Angel Roman, Anderson Vazquez, Hector Vazquez and Leilani Vazquez. Anderson Vazquez also receives a $1,000 college scholarship from the Major League Baseball Players Trust in recognition of his dedication to community service.

Action Teams are working together in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Maui, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Mobile, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), San Francisco, San Juan, Santa Fe, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington D.C.. Beginning in September 2009, every high school in the U.S. and Puerto Rico will be able to join the Action Team, and receive free volunteer training resources, step-by-step project ideas, and opportunities for their Action Team Captains to interact with Major Leaguers. Action Team applications can be obtained by sending an e-mail request to ActionTeam@mlbpa.org.

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. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com.

Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Through thousands of human service programs, including housing and healthcare, Volunteers of America helps more than 2 million people in over 400 communities. Since 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered America's most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth, the frail elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions. For more information about Volunteers of America, visit www.VolunteersofAmerica.org.