Paint splatter accent Celebrating the Youth Baseball Academy Class of 2023 Graduates

Saturday, May 20, we celebrated the graduation of 13 Scholar Athletes from the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy as they begin the exciting transition from eighth grade to high school. As Academy Player Ambassador and Nationals pitcher Josiah Gray delivered the commencement speech, each student walked up to the podium to receive a personalized jersey.

This year’s ceremony was even more special as the eighth-grade class and Josiah had something in common – both were about to graduate. When Josiah was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2018 as a junior in college, he vowed to finish the courses needed to complete his degree, and 2023 is the year he does just that. During his commencement  speech, Josiah shared how proud he was of the Scholar Athletes for excelling both academically and athletically, and said he knows that “the future is truly, truly bright.”

Celebrating the Youth Baseball Academy Class of 2023 Graduates
I’m grateful to be a part of something bigger than myself, bigger than baseball. I’m so proud of each and every one of you for excelling academically, athletically, and I know that the future is truly, truly bright.
Josiah Gray
Academy Player Ambassador and Nationals pitcher

During the ceremony, graduate Leo Squire spoke on behalf of his fellow Scholar Athletes about the lessons he will carry from the Academy. While Leo said the Academy instilled in him a number of values, one that stuck with him was to see the bright side of life, not just the negative parts. He encouraged Scholar Athletes coming after him to, “seek out goodness by surrounding yourself with people who uplift you,”  and “keep pushing to who and what you want to become.”

The Class of 2023 is the sixth graduating class of eighth graders from the Academy. We are proud to celebrate their achievements as they continue to grow and learn beyond the Academy’s walls. We want to thank the parents, mentors, and Academy staff who supported these Scholar Athletes through their journey, and a special thank you to our graduation sponsor, KPMG.