BALTIMORE – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today were joined by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) to announce that the foundation has been awarded a $1,000,000 grant through the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention program. These federal grant funds will help the foundation provide mentoring opportunities for at-risk youth in Maryland and 13 other states.
“Young people are our greatest natural resources, to invest in them is to invest in a stronger future for all Americans,” said Senator Cardin. “When it comes to serving the needs of at-risk youth, government cannot do it alone, nor can the private sector. The partnership between the federal government and CRSF is a fine example of public-private partnerships improving the lives of the most vulnerable among us. As a United States Senator and an Orioles Fan, I am thrilled to have such a far-reaching nonprofit headquartered in Baltimore.”
“Prevention and intervention programs targeting at-risk youth are a critical tool in changing the direction in the lives of young people,” Chairwoman Mikulski said. “I believe in putting money in the federal checkbook to create an investment in organizations like the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, which provides mentoring programs to help children learn and grow in a safe environment. This national program not only provides activities and services, but role models like Baltimore’s Cal Ripken, Jr., who can truly make a difference.”
“Senator Mikulski has been a tremendous friend and supporter of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. Much more importantly though, she is a friend to our nation’s young people, especially those from distressed neighborhoods,” said Steve Salem, Executive Director of the CRSF. “This year alone the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation will impact more than 800,000 young people nationwide. This would not be possible without the support of our dearest friends, including our wonderful senator, Barbara Mikulski.”
CRSF will use these funds to support their Badges for Baseball program, which uses baseball- and softball-themed programs to help build character and teach critical life lessons to underserved youth residing in America’s most distressed communities. The program combines character education with healthy activity while engaging volunteers and law enforcement officers as mentors to foster positive relationships between youth and police. More than 400 youth will attend CRSF’s Summer Camp. Nationwide, 25,000 children will be engaged in the Badges for Baseball program through 30 organizations in 14 states. In Maryland, this includes roughly 1,000 youth in 10 communities.
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, headquartered in Baltimore, Md., is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, working throughout the country with local organizations and schools serving America’s most distressed communities. CRSF is a supporting partner to those organizations who, on a daily basis, play such a critical role in developing, inspiring and saving young lives.
Senators Cardin and Mikulski have been long-time advocates for national youth mentoring programs.