Compton, Ca. July 29, 2011 - MLB Urban Youth Academy is proud to announce the selection of Juan Avena as the 2011 State Farm Athlete of the Year. Juan has attended the academy in Compton for the last five years.
Juan was selected for improving his high school GPA and for his outstanding baseball playing ability. He has overcome tremendous obstacles growing up in his community to achieve this recognition. He was recently awarded a scholarship to attend Central Arizona Junior College this Fall. He will have the honor of throwing out the first pitch at the Los Angeles Dodgers home game on August 9, 2011.
“Congratulations to Juan Avena”, said Ed Reyes, Vice President of Agency for State Farm. “We are proud to support the Urban Youth Academy and their talented student athletes. State Farm is committed to the development of our youth because our future depends on it”.
“I’m very happy to congratulate Juan on this well-deserved recognition,” said Jimmie Lee Solomon, Executive Vice President, Baseball Development, Major League Baseball. “The MLB Urban Youth Academy was designed to provide opportunities to learn and play baseball and softball year-round, and to offer its participants the opportunity to enrich their education. Juan has taken full advantage of this and is a terrific example of the type of success available to these young men and women. He has a bright future ahead of him, and his family should be very proud of this extraordinary young man.”
The MLB Urban Youth Academy is a youth baseball academy located in Compton, California providing free baseball and softball instruction to youth ages 8-17. The Academy operates on a year-round basis under the leadership of Darrell Miller a former member of the California Angels.
UYA offers an after-school program, week-long clinics accommodating approximately 200 youth per day, as well as month-long baseball clinics. In addition, the academy offers free vocational training programs such as umpiring, athletic field management, scouting and sports broadcasting. The academy also works on instilling strong character skills. Values such as integrity, respect, accountability, character, teamwork and personal responsibility are instilled in their youth.
State Farm has been the proud supporter of the Annual Dennis Gilbert Spring Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament brings together 24 Los Angeles area high schools to play in this classic. Student athletes are given the opportunity to showcase their talents that will garner possible educational and professional opportunities.
Eddie C. Martinez, State Farm Media Relations at (310) 560-6690.
Toby Zwilek or Mike Senyo, Brener Zwilek and Assoc. at (818) 462-5599 or (818) 462-5616.
The MLB Urban Youth Baseball Academy is part of Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Initiative. Encompassing more than 20 acres on the campus of El Camino College, Compton Center, the Academy is a state-of-the-art facility featuring four fields, including a show field complete with scoreboard, grandstand seating, dugouts and lights; an auxiliary field; softball field; youth field; and a 12,000 square-foot clubhouse consisting of a weight room, locker room, and other training facilities, as well as batting cages and pitching mounds. The Academy operates on a year-round basis, offering free baseball and softball instruction, as well as clinics to youth throughout Southern California. MLB is committed to providing opportunities to play baseball and softball to young people in urban America through the establishment of the Major League Baseball Urban Youth academies. In addition to the academy in Compton, MLB has established and is operating an academy in Houston and has recently signed agreements to build another in Hialeah, Fla. For additional information regarding the Academy, or any other upcoming clinics and seminars, please call the hotline at
(310) 763-3479, or visit the website at: www.YouthBaseballAcademy.com
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