Paint splatter accent Academy Spotlight: Mentors, Market, PLAY, and Coaches

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the signature program of Nationals Philanthropies, delivers holistic youth development programs year round including academic enrichment, physical activity, and health education – imparting a lasting impact on the lives of school-aged children living in Wards 7 and 8.

Join us as we celebrate 10 Days of #GivingTuesday running now through the annual day of giving on Tuesday, November 30. We will highlight stories of the Academy’s impact through features of its programs and people – highlighting below our mentors, weekly farmers market, YBA PLAY clinics, and coaches.

Your support during this time helps us raise critical funds to operate the Academy and sustain our youth development program. All donors of $100 or more will receive a navy winter hat featuring the Academy logo as a special thank you for your support.



Each Scholar Athlete enrolled in afterschool programming at Nationals Academy receives guidance from an adult mentor invested in his or her individual success. The mentor provides responsive support in athletics, academics, and general socio-emotional development. In 2021, nearly 60 mentors committed over 915 hours with Academy students. Mentors meet weekly one-on-one or in small groups with the same Scholar Athlete to build trust and maintain continuity. Both mentors and Scholars would agree each benefits greatly from the relationship!

Farmers Market

The Academy stages the only year-round farmers market in Ward 7 for community residents, featuring shares of fresh produce at a greatly subsidized rate. Operated continuously since 2018 to supply healthy and nutrient-dense food, the market has distributed enough fruits and vegetables needed to prepare over 26,300 meals. Demand for accessible and affordable food continues to soar, with as many as 50 bags per week required to fulfill requests from community residents.


YBA PLAY offers year-round baseball and softball programming for youth living in Wards 7 and 8 as well as summer league opportunities for children across the region living in areas with high poverty rates. This innovative program provides high quality, creative instruction and an opportunity to learn from trained, community-based coaches. By reducing the barriers to access, both geographic and financial, YBA PLAY increases the consistent youth participation in the game of baseball. To date, over 3,300 area youth have participated in YBA PLAY clinics or summer leagues. Major League Baseball recently recognized the YBA PLAY program as a finalist for the prestigious Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence.