The trio was on hand to provide inspiration and motivate children from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), United Neighborhood Houses and the Wheelchair Sports Federation. Now in its fourth season Citi Field Kids provides both educational and inspirational community-based initiatives for New York City students.
Developed by Citi in collaboration with the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Mets, the main theme was to go after your dreams no matter how hard life may get.
“I just wanted to show them that chasing after your dreams was possible,” Ballard said in an exclusive one-on-one with 1495 Sports. “No matter what comes you can overcome it.”
Miller had this to say about her experience, “This was really awesome, I just could not imagine ever being able to share my story to others and hopefully they will take it with them and this was just a great event for me.”
Ballard, Miller and Yu all overcame different obstacles in becoming positive role models and champions off the field. Both Ballard and Miller are champions on the field as well, as Jake was a part of the Super Bowl winning New York Giants team this season.
“It was a dream come true for me” Ballard told 1495 Sports of what winning the Super Bowl was like. “A lot of people have told me there is nothing like winning a championship in New York and they were definitely right. Once you win one here you are a New Yorker for life and I am all for that.”
Miller meanwhile has won the silver medal and will be looking to add gold in the 2012 Games in London.
“In my personal experience, I got to meet Jessie Jackson once-he came to my school,” Miller said on the influence of athletes/celebrities interacting with children. “He used to tell us ‘I am somebody’ and just because he said it would rub off on me-and I would say hey I can do this. I hope that after today some of the message that Jake and I shared with the kids will stay with them.”
Written on April 26, 2012 also seen on the Examiner.com site below: