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Four Children in Little League Urban Initiative Leagues Receive Scholarships to Little League Baseball Camp

Four Children in Little League Urban Initiative Leagues Receive Scholarships to Little League Baseball Camp


SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 4, 2010) – This summer, four children from leagues chartered through the Little League Urban Initiative, represented the inaugural class in Little League Urban Initiative Baseball Scholarship program.

As recipients of the scholarship, the players received round trip transportation and free tuition to the Little League Summer Baseball Camp in South Williamsport, Pa. Funding for the scholarship was provided through a $4,800 donation by Allstate Insurance made to the Little League Urban Initiative during the 2009 Little League Baseball World Series.

“Since the Urban Initiative program was created, its primary goal has been to make the benefits of participating in Little League available to children in places where green space and playing opportunities were limited,” Demiko Ervin, Director of the Little League Urban Initiative, said.

“We, as an organization, have seen the impact that the Little League program has had on urban neighborhoods throughout the United States, and this scholarship gives us the means to provide a wonderful experience to the players who are benefiting from their participation in Little League.”

The scholarship winners are:

  • Jawahn Gasque, 11 years old, Newark, N.J., Ironbound American Little League
  • Dashaun Montgomery, 12 years old, Chicago, Ill., Near South Little League
  • Lawton Reel, 12 years old, Tampa, Fla., Southeast Tampa Little League
  • Luis Torres, 12 years old, San Diego, Calif., San Diego American Little League

“I felt real excited and I just couldn’t wait to get here,” Lawton said. “Playing on the World Series fields is a great experience. I’ve never seen any fields as good as these.

“When I get home, I’m going to tell my friends I learned a lot of good stuff,” Lawton, a shortstop, pitcher and catcher, said. “The camp counselors have taught me a lot.”

Traveling from San Diego, Luis thought receiving the Urban Initiative Summer Camp Scholarship was a terrific privilege.

“I expected it to be just like the Little League World Series,” Luis, a slugging first baseman and improving pitcher, said. “Getting to play on Lamade Stadium and do everything the Little League World Series players get to do is great. It’s been fun to stay in dorms … It’s like staying at home except you have a lot more roommates.

“When I first got here, it was amazing,” Luis said. “The food is great, and the fields are awesome, and so are the coaches. I wanted to work on pitching, and I’ve gotten better. This is one of the best memories of my life.”

Coming from the South side of Chicago, Dashaun said his excitement came from the chance to keep playing baseball this summer.

“When my Mom told me about coming to camp, I was excited because I really like baseball,” Deshaun said. “When I first started playing Little League, it hit me, baseball is a wonderful sport.

“Coming to camp, I thought I would meet a lot of people and I have and a lot of good coaches,” Deshaun said. “The camp directors are real good, but the favorite part for me was playing on Lamade Stadium. It was my first time ever seeing the field.”

Coming to camp with a mission, Jawahn was focused on getting better at the plate, on the hill, and on the bases.

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