These Eyes See a Future Worth Winning
In baseball and most team sports there’s always a leader and one of the best ways to find one is to look into their eyes. There’s a burning, an empathy, a confident glint, that’s matched by body language that poses solidly and reliably.
If you walk on a field where Jaurece Brooks is playing and get a chance to look straight into his eyes, you’ll see a young man with much of what I’m talking about.
When we asked Jaurece if he could change anything about what’s going on in his world and his reply is “ If I could change anything I'd change the violence in the world.”
He is an undeniable leader who reflects the L.E.A.D. mission to empower an at-risk generation to lead and transform their city of Atlanta by using the sport of baseball to teach black boys how to overcome three curveballs that threaten their success: crime, poverty, and racism.
I am constantly stressing the importance of investment in programs that work to help children develop literacy in conflict resolution and leaders like Jaurece are at the tip of that sword.
Watching Jaurece attract other black boys to our leadership programs is easy to see too, as his off-the-field activity personifies an innate understanding “ that my humor is a strength that I use to build relationships.”
Jaurece's... time release punch line
Jaurece could very well have been the target of the discrimination black boys live with, but when asked about it he told me he’d “never been bullied or called a racial slur,’' and again his eyes tell a lot about why he’s escaped that pain.
"I don't think so..."
Using baseball as a magnet to support young black boys like Jaurece and develop others to unwrap their living and moral qualities has become a hallmark of L.E.A.D.
Launching student-athletes towards educational opportunities after converting raw talent into the skills required for entry into college athletic programs. Exposing teens to service and local enrichment activities to instill a sense of responsibility, belonging, and investment; key requirements for building a civically engaged individual. Advising players, coaches, and parents on the process of effectively supporting dreams of playing baseball on the college level. Directing young men towards their promise by using the historical journey of past African American legends as the road map.
I'd invite you to visit our online home and find an event where you can look into the eyes of black young men who have unwrapped their living potential, on a baseball field.
You’ll see the future.