Pittsburgh Hardball Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit youth advocacy organization that strives to enrich the lives of youth in the Greater Pittsburgh area. We have an intent focus on empowering underrepresented populations. We deliver meaningful enrichment programming to create positive and transformative outcomes on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. Our vision is to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive landscape across our region.
We serve youth from a variety of backgrounds, neighborhoods, and income levels. While Pittsburgh Hardball Academy is open to all, we maintain an intent focus on accessibility and delivery for underrepresented youth
(1) LACK OF ACCESSIBILITY FOR UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES IN BASEBALL
Over the past several decades, high-level baseball programming has become inaccessible to low to moderate-income families. According to USA Today (1), on average, American families pay $3,700 per child to participate on travel teams and upwards $8,000 annually to afford the ancillary costs associated with high-level baseball.
In addition, families pay hundreds of dollars for individualized training and are often left on their own during the college search process. As a result, underrepresented youth, particularly those in minority communities, have effectively been priced out of the sport, eliminating the many opportunities baseball presents to enrich the lives of youth.
(2) LACK OF PREPAREDNESS FOR UNDERREPRENSTED YOUTH IN THE GREATER PITTSBURGH REGION
Every young person deserves the chance to have a positive start toward adulthood, to learn and succeed to
the level of their educational ability and reach their full potential in life. Pittsburgh Hardball Academy,
through the FOCUS Program, provides encompassing academic enrichment, social enrichment, and career
development offerings to help equip our participants with the tools and guidance to supplement what they
may, or may not, be receiving in their respective schools. We’ve discovered that certain school districts may
lack a certain comprehensive and focused approach to ensure that each student develops a structured,
individualized plan to help maximize opportunities toward a successful path to either college, trade school,
and/or the job market. The FOCUS Program addresses this “opportunity gap” by helping define this path that
fits the needs and maximizes the potential in each specific individual who participates by leveraging strengths
and identifying areas that require attention.
Pittsburgh Hardball Academy strives to break down these barriers to increase diversity & inclusion in the games of baseball and softball while using the sports as a conduit to develop well-rounded young men & women and increase future academic and professional success. We want to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive landscape across our region.
Since the organization's inception in 2020, over 30 graduating seniors have accepted scholarships to continue their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level. In addition, several of our graduates have completed college and continued their professional careers, on and off the field.
(1) Smith, Jason. “Paying to Play: How Much Do Club Sports Cost?” USA TODAY High School Sports, 18 Nov. 2017, https://usatodayhss.com/2017/paying-to-play-how-much-do-club-sports-cost.