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Press Release

05/27/2008 2:00 PM ET
Phillies honor local student volunteers
Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, J.C. Romero and Shane Victorino recognize student leaders in national program to encourage youth volunteerism

PHILADELPHIA -- During an on-field ceremony prior to tonight’s game, Philadelphia Phillies players Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, J.C. Romero and Shane Victorino will represent all Major Leaguers when they honor 18 Delaware Valley-area high school students serving as Captains of the Philadelphia Action Team, a service-learning program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers. During the 2007-08 school-year, these Philadelphia Action Team Captains raised awareness about the importance of community involvement among other students in their high schools and organized hundreds of other students to get involved in volunteer activities.

Administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the Action Team program encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. To date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 12,000 high school students across the United States to help over 55,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities, while an Action Team service-learning curriculum created by the Players Trust in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition teaches valuable community service skills to 700,000 high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the country.

Receiving signed certificates of achievement from the players tonight are 2007-08 Philadelphia Action Team Captains Richard Holmes, Christian Jenkins, Christian Juliano, Greg Palestini, Shayne Schweikert and Marcellus Taylor of Philadelphia Electrical and Technology High School; Shannon McGowan, Katie McKenna and Jason Witts of Gloucester Catholic High School; Chris Green, Brian O’Donnell, Jeffrey O’Donnell and Dave Sanchirrico of Paul VI High School; Nikki Brown of West Deptford High School; Nithin George, Symior Hamilton, Febin Samuel and Rodney Savage of George Washington High School. Also, Nikki Brown of West Deptford and Greg Palestini of Philadelphia Electrical and Technology will receive $1,000 college scholarships from the Major League Baseball Players Trust in recognition of their dedication to community service. Among their efforts this past school year, the Philadelphia Action Team inspired 400 of their peers to help raise funds and purchase food and clothing for needy families.

Earlier today, Howard and Victorino joined these students and other members of the Philadelphia Action Team as they hosted a “Storybook Luncheon” at the Camden Children’s Garden to kick-off summer reading programs throughout the Delaware Valley region.

Action Teams are working together in Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Mobile, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.. Volunteers of America and the Major League Baseball Players Trust are planning to expand the Action Team program to Chicago, Cleveland and Tampa during the 2008-09 school-year.

Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. In partnership with Volunteers of America, the national human service organization, the Players Trust created and helps administer the Action Team, a national youth volunteer initiative currently inspiring the next generation of volunteers in cities throughout the United States. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit