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Students Help District Kids with Service, Baseball

March 26, 2012 – It was a doubleheader of community service this past Friday for a new Georgetown student club that works with a Major League Baseball (MLB) initiative to mentor children in disadvantaged communities.

Hoyas for RBI, which works with the league’s Washington, D.C., chapter of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (DC RBI), organized a day of service followed by a baseball clinic Friday night for students age 12 and under.

“What RBI strives to do is give kids a chance to have something to look forward to – to keep them interested in and learn about baseball, but more importantly learn the important lessons of teamwork and working together and having role models,” says Alexander Frawley (C’12), founder and president of the club.

Months of Preparation

In collaboration with students from The Corp and D.C. Reads, the group planted bushes and painted a recreation room at the William Commodore Recreation Center in the Kenilworth neighborhood, home to many of the kids who play on DC RBI teams.

The Corp., a nonprofit corporation owned and operated by students, celebrated its 40th anniversary this past weekend. D.C. Reads is a tutoring program for low-income children in first through third grades who are not reading at grade level.

After they finished working at the recreation center, Hoyas for RBI members headed out to King Greenleaf Recreation Center for the first of their spring clinics with DC RBI.

“After many months of preparation, it was amazing to finally have a chance to run our first clinic,” says Joe Calafiore (C’12), vice president of the club. “The RBI participants were awesome, and everybody involved had a lot of fun. Our goal this year is to … spread the joy of our national pastime in D.C.”

A Different Approach

Frawley first heard about DC RBI this past summer when he was working as an intern for MLB, which administers RBI programs throughout the country.

“I got really interested in the program and wanted to do something when I came back to Georgetown,” says Frawley, who graduates this spring and plans to defer law school to work for Teach For America in the District next year.

So he and Calafiore, who also interned at MLB and serves as captain of Georgetown’s club baseball team, started Hoyas for RBI in the fall of 2011.

“We saw it as a different thing because most of the Center for Social Justice clubs that work in underserved areas, they’re not really geared towards sports and especially not baseball,” Frawley says.

Mentoring Through Baseball

The group, which counts 45 members with varying levels of baseball skills, began officially working with DC RBI kids this past January during the organization’s winter clinics.

“The fact that we were bringing so many students [to the clinics], allowed for amazing ratios from player to coach,” Frawley says.

Students helped DC RBI coaches run pitching, catching, hitting, infield and outfield training stations.

After baseball season ends, Hoyas for RBI hopes to initiate a college awareness day for DC RBI high school and middle school-aged kids.

“We want to bring them to campus, give them a tour, let them hear from a professor and kind of just get them in the mindset of thinking about college and that they have us as mentors along the way,” Frawley says.