Earlier this spring, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation donors had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy. With support from Major League Baseball and generous donors, the Academy opened in March of 2018 as one of only eight state-of-the-art facilities in the country focused on empowering youth through baseball and softball.
In 2006, MLB’s first Urban Youth Academy was founded in Compton, California. Academies across the country aim to set the standard for baseball and softball instruction and enhance the quality of life in the surrounding communities.
Located in the historic 18th and Vine district, Kansas City’s Academy is focused on more than developing major league athletes. It serves local students ages 6 to 18 with the goal of developing youth physically, academically, socially and spiritually.
The Academy emphasizes the importance of transferrable skills and helps youth learn about the many industries at play in major league sports. While talented athletes are highly sought after, all sports teams need marketers, accountants, IT experts, salespeople, medical staff, groundskeepers, journalists, and broadcasters just to name a few. The Academy also works to educate parents of athletes on topics such as recruiting, scholarships, collegiate level sports and more.
On a tour of the $21 million complex, donors were able to step onto four outdoor turf fields, peek inside a press box, visit an athletic training room, and see an indoor turf field with four batting tunnels. Equipped with four classrooms, the 38,000-square-foot indoor facility serves local youth in after-school programs as well as local high school and postsecondary sports teams.
Authored by: Ashley Hawkins, Content Specialist