In 2005, the makers of Minute Maid and Astros In Action Foundation announced the Grand Slam For Youth Baseball Scholarship Program to assist greater Houston-area high school senior boys and girls with college expenses. Since the scholarship program inception, MMGSFYB has given over 100 scholarships to Houston area high school seniors. Over 40 of these scholarships were awarded to first-generation students.

A Record 25 Finalists Are Awarded $2,500 Scholarships

Minute Maid, Houston’s hometown juice brand, and the Houston Astros announced the winners for the 2011 Grand Slam for Youth Baseball (GSFYB) Scholarships for high school seniors at the June 25 Astros game against the Tampa Bay Rays. In a pre-game ceremony on the ball field, 25 finalists received scholarships of $2,500, which will assist these students with college expenses. The 25 students represented many different cities and 14 school districts and four private schools in Texas.
“We once again salute outstanding students and their accomplishments,” says Mike Saint John, President of Minute Maid. “This marks the third consecutive year we have been able to provide 25 scholarships. Since the program’s inception in 2005, more than 125 scholarships have been granted. All are deserving and will represent us well in their academic and professional careers.”
The scholarship winners include 12 first-generation students (first in their families to attend college). These students, along with the other winners, will pursue their degrees at 14 different institutions of higher learning, including the University of Notre Dame, the University of Oklahoma, Stanford University, Syracuse University and several Texas universities, large and small.
Grand Slam for Youth Baseball, a partnership between Minute Maid and the Houston Astros, is a four-pronged program that promotes youth baseball and softball, along with educational endeavors for area students.

The four components include:
1) sponsorship of City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department’s Youth Baseball/Softball Program through provision of uniforms, equipment and instruction;
2) refurbishment of one youth baseball field each year by providing renovation of playing fields, facilities, scoreboards and other needs;
3) implementation of a baseball-related educational program launched in 2005 to provide high school seniors with college scholarships; and
4) unique fundraising opportunities for youth baseball teams and leagues by working at the MMGSFYB concession stand at Minute Maid Park.

“Through our partnership with the Astros, we are committed to making a difference in the lives of many inner-city youth in Houston by furthering the cause of education via Grand Slam for Youth Baseball,” says Saint John. “The scholarship program is one important facet of this overall effort. We believe these young adults will go on to achieve success and are excellent choices for the 2011 scholarships.

The 25 scholarship winners are:

Joseph Arechiga of Pasadena (Pasadena Memorial High School/Lamar University)

Ramon Avalos III
(Carver High School/University of Houston)

Jessica Best
(Nimitz High School/Lone Star College)

Cody Burns
of Richmond (Foster High School/Texas A&M University)

Joseph Duff
of Dayton (Dayton High School/Blinn College)

Dominique Garcia, Jr.
(MacArthur High School/University of Texas)

Tanecia Gardner
(Kashmere High School/University of Texas)

Olivia Garrett
(Yates High School/ Texas A&M University)

Gregory Heugel
of Rosenberg (Lamar Consolidated High
School/University of Texas)

Michael Jackson
(Booker T. Washington High School/University of Texas)

Philip Jenkins
(West Side High School/University of Texas)

Eric Jensen
of Cypress (St. Thomas High School/University of Oklahoma)

Hailey Juszczak
of The Woodlands (The John Cooper School/Stanford University)

Thomas Kuban
of West Columbia (Columbia High School/Texas A&M University)

Timothy Mills
of Cleveland (Splendora High School/Texas A&M University)

Justin Molina
(North Shore Senior High School/University of Texas at San Antonio)

Matthew Morales
of Encino (Falfurrias High School/University of Texas-Pan American)

Leslie Norcott
of New Caney (New Caney High School/Texas A&M University)

Corbin Paulino
(Alief Hastings High School/Texas State University)

Katelyn Provost
of Groves (Port Neches-Groves High School/Texas State University)

Enrique Ramirez
(YES Prep – Southwest Academy/Syracuse University)

Catherine Spreen
of Bellaire (St. Agnes Academy/University of Notre Dame)

Jeffrey Suchma
(Clear Brook High School/Texas State University)

Drake Williams
(J. Frank Dobie High School/Texas A&M University)

Catherine Willis
(Spring Woods High School/Southwestern University)