Today we’d like to introduce you to Delrisha Hayes.
Hi Delrisha, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
I started by hosting At Bat first baseball clinic in July 2016 at Belle Isle Athletic Field to introduce youth six to 13-year-olds to the fundamentals of baseball. Then during the 2017-2018 school year, At Bat piloted its first after-school program in collaboration with Voyageur Academy, a Detroit charter school. With limited funding from UAW Ford and individual donations, the organization successfully taught 26 youth baseball and nutrition principles, built self-esteem, and applied academic concepts to real-life examples through structured activities. The after-school program was facilitated by one At Bat staff member, one local volunteer, and four University of Michigan college students. In the 2018-2019 school year, At Bat and Voyageur Academy collaborated once more to provide youth after-school programming. This year, the organization introduced a youth program quality assessment tool to collect internal and external data about the quality of programming with partners at Youth Development Resource Center (YDRC). The data collected revealed that At Bat provided an emotional safety and supportive environment for youth participants.
As of lately, the organization just finished summer programming in partnership with Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD). At Bat provided two summer baseball programs at Charles Wright Academy and Priest Elementary-Middle School. Students in the summer program learned baseball essentials such as how to properly throw, catch, hit, and play different fielding positions. In addition, students experience healthy competition by engaging in baseball games with peers and learning how to manage feelings. This program was successfully implemented by four At Bat staff members and 11 Grow Detroit Young Talent (GDYT) youth workers.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road; the biggest obstacle I have encountered was a lack of funding. When the organization doesn’t receive funding it affects operations. It decreases the number of youth At Bat can serve since all programming is free.
Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about At Bat?
At Bat is a Detroit-based nonprofit whose mission is to increase the number of at-risk youth that participate in baseball and softball. (The organization defines at-risk as a child whose household income is 200% below the federal poverty level). At Bat offers:
Clinics – Introduce children ages 6-13 to the fundamentals of baseball and/or softball. Youth engage in throwing, catching, and hitting drills.
After-School Program – Learn baseball and nutrition fundamentals, build self-esteem, and apply academic concepts to real-life examples through structured activities.
Youth Development – Youth will enhance their in-school learning through activities that drive home concepts in science, technology, engineering, and math while learning baseball and/or softball.
Summer Camp – Help youth improve their baseball and/or softball skills.
Workshops – Educate both adults and children on health-related topics such as childhood obesity, concussions, and physical health.
Nevertheless, At Bat is known for its after-school program and summer camp. At Bat is different from other sport programs because we reduce the transportation barrier by partnering with local schools and/or community organizations. Also, we provide all equipment used within programming, so families of youth participants do not have to worry about equipment cost.
A huge win for the organization is getting programming into DPSCD and GOAL Line Detroit. The organization anticipates developing and growing the interest of the sport within urban communities to help revitalize baseball amongst African-American.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Being consistent and always providing quality. When the program was small and didn’t have many youth. I would always show-up on time and give those youth that are present my very best.
- A donation of $25 dollars will go towards snacks and waters for youth participants.
- A donation of $50 dollars will go towards incentives to engage youth participants such as At Bat gear (hat’s, jerseys, t-shirts, etc.).
- A donation of $100 dollars will go towards printed workbooks for youth to use.
- A donation of $250 dollars will go towards Social Emotional Learning (SEL) training for staff.
- A donation of $500 dollars will go towards wages for staff.