Life skills, one curve ball at a time



Four Neighborhood House girls flew off to Maryland this summer to take part in the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation’s national leadership program. LaNya, Maya, Jolene, and Santasia, and chaperone Niki Espy gathered at General Mitchell Airport  with 60 others from the Milwaukee area, all of them curious about the challenges ahead.

The week-long camp is an opportunity for deserving young people from across the country to come together to learn baseball The Ripken Way while simultaneously developing life-long character traits that will help them continue on the path to success. As Niki Espy reported, “Baseball was not what this week was about; it was strength of character,  willingness to work hard, to listen and step outside of what was expected from ones’ self and by others.”

Some came with strong baseball skills, others were hitting the ball for the first time. All submitted to a rigorous schedule, anda regimen that included plenty of “sweat, dirt, pain, discipline, hard work, laughter, friendship and compassion.” Lessons in teamwork, leadership, respect, and communication were aimed at helping them be successful not only in the game of baseball, but also in the game of life. (More at

Neighborhood House has a long and special relationship with Cal Ripkin Sr. Foundation: NH’s youth Badges for Baseball program was cited as one of the best in the country and earned “best practice” status, as well as Affiliate Status with the Foundation. Congratulations, girls, for your hard work and acheivements!

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