Network Outsource has had the opportunity to partner with outstanding organizations that are beacons in their communities. One such organization we’ve been lucky enough to service is the Harlem RBI DREAM Charter School, a component of the Harlem RBI learning and athletic center for at-risk youths.
Because of its achievements, Harlem RBI, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, has caught the attention of some key players in Major League Baseball.
New York Yankee Mark Teixeira recently donated $1 million to the organization and he has promised to raise another $19 million to fund the construction of a new 13-story facility in East Harlem.
Teixeira took an interest in the school because of its baseball foundations and his appreciation of education that was instilled in him by his parents.
“Knowing what Harlem RBI is doing for this community and knowing that baseball is the hook, I thought this was the perfect relationship to get into, and I love every second of it,” Teixeira said.
Harlem RBI began in 1991, when volunteers transformed an abandoned lot into two baseball diamonds. The organization quickly expanded to include year-round programs for at-risk youths in the community.
In 2008, Harlem RBI’s DREAM Charter School welcomed 50 kindergarteners and 50 first graders for its first official day of school.
Teixeira joined NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Harlem RBI Executive Director Rich Berlin and nearly 100 of the program’s kids to announce RBI’s newest 150,000-square-foot addition, which will include affordable housing units, the DREAM Charter School and the Harlem RBI program.
The $85 million project is expected to break ground in the summer of 2012, and the new school will open its doors to students in September 2014.
The first baseman launched his own fundraising effort, Dream Team 25, to encourage fans and supporters to donate to the cause. The fund was an instant success. More than $1 million has already been raised for the school.
According to the Dream Team website, 97% of Harlem RBI’s youth graduate high school and 93% are accepted into college.
“These kids are going to be the future leaders of this community. They’re going to come back and they’re going to volunteer with Harlem RBI. They’re going to run the businesses. They’re going to be the ones at the podium talking about a new project that they’re starting together, because of the opportunities that they had through Harlem RBI,” he said.