Many foundations and scholarships avoid the troubled and disenchanted youth.
Those, however, are just the type of young men that former Chicago Cubs player C.J. Stewart went looking for.
The former Major League Baseball star C.J. Stewart successful leveraged the lessons he was imbued with to make to the professional ranks and used them to initiate a metamorphosis in the lives of troubled Atlanta youth.
L.E.A.D. Atlanta hosted their annual “SIGNING DAY” event this past week, a celebration of local Atlanta Public School students who have risen above very adverse circumstances, and the community volunteers who support them. L.E.A.D. does life changing work with APS students… they have a 100 percent graduation rate and 100 percent college enrollment rate for their program participants and 92% collegiate scholarship rate
Their founder, CJ Stewart is a former MLB player, who is using baseball as a tool to reach these youth and then changing their lives OFF the field.
Denzel Campbell is an inaugural member of L.E.A.D.’s 2007-2008 Ambassador Class. Campbell graduated from Centennial High School in 2009 and earned an athletic (baseball) scholarship to the University of South Carolina at Beaufort. He continued to earn his scholarship year after year graduated in May of this year with a degree in Hospitality. Denzel has a really amazing story.
His mother wanted to get him out of their community in College Park because it was so riddled with gangs and violence. Fearing that she may lose him to those elements, she allowed Denzel to go and live with a host family in Alpharetta for the week. He would come home some weekends. Because she didn’t have the money to pay for a competitive baseball program that would help him showcase in front of scouts, L.E.A.D. was the perfect opportunity for him.
Jason Wynn is an inaugural member of L.E.A.D.’s 2007-2008 Ambassador Class. Jason graduated from Clarkston High School and earned an athletic scholarship to Savannah State University where he was a stand out relief pitcher for the Tigers. While there, Jason helped his team win multiple conference championships.
He graduated from SSU with a degree in Homeland Security. Jason has always had a supportive family environment, however when it came to understanding the recruiting process and affording the training needed to help Jason take his skills to the next level, they needed an ally. When Jason joined L.E.A.D., they were able to be at peace knowing that our programming was not just focused developing Jason as an athlete, but as a man.
Major General Ronald L. Johnson: Major General Johnson has an impressive resume that includes West Point, distinguished military service, The National Basketball Association and Georgia Tech. As impressive as his resume is, Major General Johnson is always within reach when it comes to empowering others in the community. He speaks with young men in the Ambassador Program on a regular basis, helping them to never lose sight of the host of opportunities that are afforded to them as part of the L.E.A.D. organization.
Cortney English is an native Atlantan, a graduate of Atlanta Public Schools and currently serves as the President of the Atlanta School Board. When L.E.A.D. launched its middle school programming in 2009, Mr. English immediately signed up as an assistant coach alongside athletic director, Bakari Moore. Together they led the B.E.S.T. Academy Eagles to win the District’s first Middle School Baseball Championship. Over the years, Mr. English has been a dedicated advocate for L.E.A.D. and is helping to ensure that L.E.A.D.’s programming can grow to serve more student-athletes in the District.
Take a look at more photographic highlights from the gala.