May 01, 2012 10:15 AM
By Lisa Stone, Co-Founder, BlogHer
Last week, Citi held its first Citi Field Kids program for the 2012 season at Citi Field. Recognizing the Month of the Military Child, the program included children from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the Wheelchair Sports Federation and United Neighborhood Houses. Tight end Jake Ballard, who helped the New York Giants to a Super Bowl championship, and Kari Miller, 2008 Paralympic Games silver medalist in Women's Sitting Volleyball, were guest speakers, with SNY anchor/reporter Michelle Yu serving as Master of Ceremonies.
Now in its fourth season, Citi Field Kids is an educational and motivational community-based initiative for New York City middle and high school students developed by Citi in collaboration with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Mets and various community-based organizations. Citi Field Kids was launched on April 15, 2009, in conjunction with Major League Baseball's annual Jackie Robinson Day.
The series of in-season events has sought to positively impact students through the nine values and ideals of Jackie Robinson, the legendary pioneer and great American trailblazer who broke baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. The nine values he embodied - courage, integrity, determination, persistence, citizenship, justice, commitment, teamwork and excellence - serve as a focal point of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field to advance and perpetuate Jackie's humanitarian ideals. Each Citi Field Kids visit begins with a pre-game tour of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and the Mets Hall of Fame led by former Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars. This time, Jackie Robinson Scholarship alum Heather Cannady, an NYU graduate who received her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, led the tour. She now works for the United States Judiciary in Newark, New Jersey.
"Citi is committed to being an active participant in the communities in which we do business, and we are proud to offer programs such as Citi Field Kids to help positively impact the lives of children in New York," said Bill Brown, Manhattan Division Director, Citibank. "Citi participates in many initiatives supporting veterans and members of the military and their families, and this month we recognize children whose lives have been profoundly impacted by having a parent in military service," said Brown. "We welcome the kids from TAPS and WSF to their first Citi Field Kids program, as well as the kids from UNH, with whom Citi has a long-standing relationship. We are also excited to welcome both Jake and Kari as they share the inspiring stories of their journeys from ambition to achievement."
Dave Howard, Executive Vice President, Business Operations, New York Mets, said, "The Citi Field Kids program is one of many community initiatives that are vital and integral to our partnership with Citi. We are honored to host such a diverse and tremendous group at this CFK event and help have a profound effect on their lives."