Harlem RBI seeking volunteer baseball and softball coaches

4/2/2015, 10:07 a.m.
Harlem RBI has started their 24th season of recreational baseball and softball leagues for middle and high school students in ...
Volunteer coaches for the East Harlem Little League instruct the little guys from the East Harlem-South Bronx Little Leagues.

Harlem RBI has started their 24th season of recreational baseball and softball leagues for middle and high school students in East Harlem and the South Bronx. Harlem RBI’s baseball and softball leagues are a major component of the year-round program that serves youth from elementary school through college, with comprehensive, age-appropriate sports, academic and enrichment activities.

Harlem RBI serves close to 2,000 youth and their families with a staff of 200 full-time employees and hundreds of volunteers. Over time, the organization developed a set of unique features that make the program successful, such as using baseball and softball as a hook to recruit, engage and retain youth who are otherwise harder to reach for academic and enrichment services.

Harlem RBI is seeking volunteer baseball and softball coaches to work with middle or high school teams in East Harlem or the South Bronx for this upcoming season. Coaches work directly with 11- to 18-year-old boys and girls to improve their technical abilities, as well as develop important life skills through the sport. Harlem RBI coaches have a significant impact on youth and their positive development in the city’s two most disadvantaged neighborhoods, where young people are often struggling with issues of gang violence, drug and alcohol abuse and teen parenthood.

The organization has achieved great results over the past decade. Since 2005, 95 percent of Harlem RBI seniors graduated from high school, 92 percent of Harlem RBI seniors gained college acceptance and 99 percent of Harlem RBI participants avoided teen parenthood.

There are currently close to 70 coaches in the Harlem RBI program, and many of them have served longer than one season—the longest standing record is at 15 years. Some coaches are alumni of the Harlem RBI program and now are giving back to others growing up in similar, challenging circumstances.

“I am an alum of the Harlem RBI program and grew up in this neighborhood. I loved playing baseball and now I really enjoy giving back to the kids in the community. I find that coaching kids balances out what I do in my professional life as a police officer. I even met my future wife through the program. This is my home away from home,” said Albert Tirado, a Harlem RBI alum and an NYPD police officer.

The ideal candidate has experience working with youth, as well as playing and/or coaching baseball or softball. We ask volunteer coaches to commit to a full season of coaching (April through September) with practices two nights a week and one weekend game. Coaches are needed in both East Harlem and the South Bronx.

Email volunteer@harlemrbi.org to learn more.