December 30, 2023
One evening a few weeks ago, I caught up with Marcellus, an Academy alum and high school senior who recently committed to attend Lincoln University in Pennsylvania next fall. Marcellus first came to the Academy as a shy and unassuming fourth grader in 2014. He had not yet played baseball, and while he participated in activities, he most often kept quiet and in the background.
But Marcellus kept showing up – his older brother and sister eventually joined our staff as summer program coordinators, adding to his comfort level – and he kept working, usually quietly, toward becoming a better student and baseball player. Since his eighth grade graduation from the Academy’s BASE program in 2020, Marcellus continued to play competitively with HUSTLE and served as an Academy summer staff member himself.
Through support from his mentor, classroom staff, and on-field coaches Marcellus grew from a quiet kid into a leader, a steward of the Academy community, and a positive role model for younger Scholar Athletes. This growth fostered at the Academy drives his success outside the Academy walls, on and off the field, as he takes the next step in his journey.
In the decade since we opened the doors to the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, we have collected so many stories like Marcellus’s. Like Kevin and Juice who represented the Academy on the 2018 Mamie Johnson Little League team that won the D.C. Little League Championship and who are in their first year of college on a scholarship facilitated by the Academy. And Marcellus’s high school teammate, Solomon, who also started at the Academy as a fourth grader and earlier this month committed to play baseball at North Carolina A&T.
Through far-reaching introductory community clinics, deep engagement in afterschool and summer enrichment, and competitive travel teams and workouts, the Academy has served over 6,000 young people in the last 10 years. By supporting these programs, you have enabled transformative experiences like Marcellus’s for so many D.C. youth living in underserved communities.
I am excited to share with you the first look at our 10th Anniversary Impact Report. I hope you feel as proud as I do reading about all we’ve accomplished in the Academy’s first 10 years.
Read the full report here.
Because of the continued generosity of Nationals players and fans, partners, supporters, and volunteers, more young people every year will have access to academic enrichment, effective coaching, and the joy of baseball at Nationals Academy.
To our fans and supporters, thank you.
CEO, Nationals Philanthropies