From the office of Sen. Barbara Mikulski:
U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) today were joined by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) to announce that the foundation has been awarded a $1.538 million grant through the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention program. These federal grant funds will help the foundation provide mentoring opportunities for at-risk youth in Maryland and 33 other states, as well as the District of Columbia. This grant was administered based on funding allocated by the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, which Senator Mikulski chairs.
“I believe in putting money in the federal checkbook to create an investment in organizations like the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, which provides mentoring programs to help children learn and grow in a safe environment. We know that prevention and intervention programs targeting at-risk youth are a critical tool in changing the direction in the lives of young people,” Senator Mikulski said. “This national program not only provides activities and services, but role models like Baltimore’s Cal Ripken, Jr., who can truly make a difference.”
“Young people rise to their full potential when they can look to positive role models. Our nation’s mentors, educators and parents are key to making sure our youth lead productive lives. I am pleased that this federal investment in our future is going to be administered through our own Iron Man, Cal Ripken Jr., and the highly acclaimed Carl Ripken Sr. Foundation,” said Senator Cardin.
“We are grateful to Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin for their leadership and support,” said Steve Salem, president of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. “They both care deeply about America’s children, and we are so fortunate to have them as our great friends and advocates.”
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, headquartered in Baltimore, Md., is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, working throughout the country with local organizations and schools serving America’s most distressed communities. CRSF is a supporting partner to those organizations who, on a daily basis, play such a critical role in developing, inspiring and saving young lives.
CRSF will use these funds to support their Badges for Baseball program, which uses baseball- and softball-themed programs to help build character and teach critical life lessons to underserved youth residing in America’s most distressed communities. The program combines character education with healthy activity while engaging volunteers and law enforcement officers as mentors to foster positive relationships between youth and police. More than 600 youth will attend CRSF’s Summer Camp. Nationwide, more than 30,000 children will be engaged in the Badges for Baseball program. In Maryland, this includes roughly 1,300 youth through 11 organizations serving 32 communities.
As a former social worker, Senator Mikulski has been a long-time advocate for national youth mentoring programs. In the fiscal year 2012 appropriations, Senator Mikulski included $78 million for mentoring programs supporting at-risk youth.