Major League Baseball has announced it will provide released Minor League players from the Dominican Republic an opportunity to enroll in educational programs through its new Educational Initiative Program for Latin America.
Major League Baseball signed an agreement to create and support an educational program for Dominican players in partnership with the government of the Dominican Republic. The agreement, which applies to signed players and recently released players who have played for at least one of the 30 club academies after January 2009, is the latest step taken by MLB to expand educational and vocational opportunities for Dominican players.
Rafael Perez, head of MLB’s office in the Dominican Republic, called the education initiative, “one of the most important projects of MLB in the DR. We are totally committed to provide opportunities not only to released players to further their education, but we are also working closely with each club to improve their education programs at the academies. We strongly believe a better educated baseball player will have a better opportunity to reach the big leagues.”
The programs, which range from technical, vocational and entrepreneurial opportunities, to elementary and high school equivalency courses, job-seeking workshops and career-counseling services, are designed to provide players with occupational alternatives after their playing careers are over.
Players released between January 2009 and August 2012 are eligible to participate. The league is currently accepting players into the program, said Josefine Carrion, coordinator of the initiative for Major League Baseball, adding that is already a success. “Our initiative for released players has been well received,” she said, “and we are working to make a positive difference in the lives of those young men.”