When Soria arrived to her first day of softball practice as a freshman, she toted along with her an old floppy glove. Soria showed a lot of promise as a player however, her glove which had no form left to it prohibited her from properly catching the ball. The coaches decided to swap her old tattered glove out with a new one provided by PIFB. Soria not only started catching the ball more often, but her confidence soared as a result.
Washburn HS Softball
With PIFB’s help, Washburn HS has been able to steadily grow the program. For 2017, Washburn strengthened the existing program. PIFB donated new helmets, catchers gear, and gloves, enabling all girls who wanted to play to make the team. Washburn HS is already expecting an additional 14% budget cut for 2018. PIFB and Washburn HS will continue to partner to make softball accessible.
Health Opportunities & Social Justice High School, Bronx
As a part of the partnership with the Yankees, this high school out of the Bronx was able to have a softball team for the first time. Four players on the team were failing nearly all of their classes and were not on track to graduate. The opportunity to play softball turned their performance in the classroom around. The girls are passing their classes with high scores and are on track to graduate.
CORE Academy, Texas
Softball coach Shamial Allen says that coaching her team throughout the season was like watching a seed blossom into many beautiful flowers. Early in the season many girls didn’t know how to properly hold a bat or field a ground ball. They worked hard throughout the season to improve their skills and Shamial says the donation of equipment brought confidence, sportsmanship, leadership, increased GPA’s and a sense of belonging to all the girls. The team finished second in their division!
LA Monarch Girls Baseball, Los Angeles
When longtime baseball fan and Los Angeles native Gillian realized that the area had many girls who wanted to continue playing baseball, she formed the LA Monarchs, a girls only baseball team. With a number of girls coming from low income families, many of them struggle to pay the minimal participation fee and cannot afford equipment. PIFB was able to help with their equipment needs and keep the girls on the field.
Mariana & Luisa, Colombia
Left by their fathers at a young age, Mariana and Luisa have faced great adversity in their lives. Each having only one parent who struggle to make ends meet, both girls began selling candy in the streets at a young age to help provide for their families. After a local league received gear from PIFB, Mariana and Luisa decided to play. The girls fell in love with the sport and are now able to spend time off the streets playing baseball, learning life values, having fun, and enjoying their childhood.
Daija, grade 7, had a chronic attendance problem. She often missed days of school at a time. It was not clear she would be able to move on to the 8th grade. When the season started, Daija was informed she would not be allowed to play on the team if she did not improve her attendance. Daija’s attendance improved dramatically. She went from missing school two to three times a week, to missing only one half day of school the entire two month season. She understood the importance of being there for her team and had found her own motivation to engage in the school community.
Although Daisy was voted captain at the beginning of the season, it was her first time serving in a leadership role and at times she felt shy and uncertain of her ability. Daisy worked hard throughout the season to improve her pitching and leadership skills. When asked about what softball did for her confidence Daisy said, “I felt proud of myself because at first I was so afraid to make a mistake but I overcame my fears and that made me feel good about myself”.
When Shaquana joined the Lost Boyz program, she was getting into fights regularly, had lots of office referrals at school, and challenged authority. In 2014, Lost Boyz started a fast pitch softball team to reach more girls. She wanted to play but with 8 siblings, her parents often have to prioritize expenses and could not purchase the proper gear for her to play. Softball has helped her turn it around. This year, she was MVP, team captain, and power hitter. She has a positive attitude, a B average in school, and is respectful to coaches and parents.
Ronaee – Philadelphia
At the beginning of the school year, Ronaee was on the road to dropping out. Her job was her priority. When a group of friends decided to try out for softball, she tagged along. She was told if she wanted to play, she had to get her grades up. Ronaee worked tirelessly to get her grades up to be academically eligible and attended school daily. By the end of the season, she improved her GPA by 11 points and went from nearly failing to being an engaged student. Instead of dropping out, she’s succeeding academically and looking forward to next season.
What can you do to help?
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