The Awesome Awards - Nominations

Youman Wilder

Nominated by Dan Dunlap
August 10, 2019
I know a man who has single-handedly saved over 250 young African-American and Latino men’s lives through the teaching of baseball This past January The Harlem Baseball Hitting Academy started its 15th year in existence and the man who has ran it for the last 15 years is its founder and president Mr. Youman Wilder The academy has taken over 250 young men at risk and put them all through high school and college with a 100% graduation rate from high school and college. Some of these alumni have graduated from Johns Hopkins,UCLA,University of Pennsylvania, Morehouse, University of South Carolina, Temple ,Tufts ,Princeton University,Syracuse University. The University of Pennsylvania,Georgetown just to name a few. There have been former gang members, former homeless children and yes the object poor who have come through this program and have gone on to fulfill careers and receive degrees in engineering,medicine,economics and education . While the Academy has done great work academically let’s talk about the work athletically this academy has developed 40 Major League Baseball Draft Picks Over 50 Baseball America and Perfect Game All Americans Selections They have had six of their players play for the United States win gold and silver medals representing the United States of America In countries like Taipei,Mexico and Tokyo Japan. The Harlem based Academy has in the last 10 years has had five players take home the Gatorade High School Player of the year for the State of New York in 2016 and 2017 they went back to back with developing the player of the year. They have developed 4 current major-league baseball players who have won a World Series and an 2018 Gold Glove Award. The reason this is so amazing is the fact that this Academy has no work out quarters of significance, most of the work that they do is done on the streets of Harlem New York. All this done by one individual all this done with no money and all this done with straight consistent backbreaking work. With 35 to 45 members per year carried by the Harlem Baseball Hitting Academy The Non For Profit exist on a very low yearly budget of $45,000,that they raise through their non for profit,PayPal and Gofundme account. This highly successful academy has never gotten any help from the city or the state or the community of Harlem itself.There is never a child who is turned away from the Academy. The Harlem Baseball Hitting Academy has proven that time and time again that it produces some of the most talented players,but its the lives that this man has changed and he has bought education to kids who may not have had that goal. They challenge the stereotypes that if you are black and poor you can not achieving everyday,What Youman Wilder has done in Harlem is a miracle