Jason Gresham, a sophomore at Carver Early College, initially started playing baseball at age 5 because he liked playing outside and “getting dirty”. Now, he plays because he loves the sport, is good at it, and it gives him a platform to mentor younger students. Through a non-profit organization called L.E.A.D (Launch, Expose, Advise and Direct), headed by C.J. and Kelli Stewart, Jason has discovered that baseball can take him down very exciting paths. As a response to the low percentage (about 2%) of African-Americans represented in professional baseball, L.E.A.D was established to help at-risk, inner city males achieve success through civic engagement, solid baseball skills and access to higher education through baseball (i. e. baseball scholarships, etc.).
Jason says that L.E.A.D has helped him to become a better student because he has to have the required grade point average to continue membership in the organization. He says that through L.E.A.D, he has met many baseball professionals and that he has developed his baseball skill set to the position of a utility player. A utility player is one that can play any position on the field. As a L.E.A.D Ambassador, he goes to middle schools two or three times a month and on Saturdays and mentors younger students in baseball. Jason has logged more than 200 service hours with L.E.A.D. This impressive community work, coupled with an outstanding essay, helped him to be selected as a recipient of the 2012-13 WXIA 11 Alive Kids Who Care Award. When he’s not playing baseball, Jason enjoys playing music. He’s a trombonist who is a drum-major-in-training. Next year, he will be leading the Carver High School Band as a Drum Major. Jason’s aspiration is to land a band/baseball scholarship and attend Florida A & M University. He plans to study computer engineering. Congratulations Jason!
written by Linda J. Green, Media Specialist at Carver Early College