Young Swimmer Earns Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Scholarship

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 7. JARED Miller, 12, a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (BGCGW) Orr Elementary School Branch, has been presented with a scholarship from The Major League Baseball Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Program (HACDP). Miller will receive financial support and the mentoring needed to pursue his dream of becoming an Olympic gold medalist in swimming. Miller was chosen by Boys & Girls Clubs of America to receive this prestigious scholarship based on his desire to achieve his athletic goals.

A resident of southeast Washington, D.C., Miller is a seventh-grade honor student at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science. Miller practices with local swim team Team Elite, a competitive predominantly African-American swim team coached by Washington, D.C. native and Solomon Robinson. He has competed annually in the D.C. Junior Olympics and consistently ranks in the top five swimmers in his age group.

"I am so excited about winning this scholarship," said Miller. "It feels good to know that the Boys & Girls Club recognizes how hard I try in my sport. I am not going to give up on my dreams and I'm going to keep my focus. Now, I have to swim faster than ever!"

Miller joins Boys & Girls Club members from across the country, selected because of their talent in fields such as music, dance, art, science, literature and athletics. HACDP scholarships help Club members develop the necessary skills and provide opportunities to excel in their field of choice.

"After I retired, my wife Billye, and I decided we wanted to give back by helping kids achieve their dreams," said Hall of Famer and baseball icon Hank Aaron on the founding day of HACDP in 1994. "It is a proud and happy day for us to see this program launched and supported by the shared vision and resources of Major League Baseball, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation."

Major League Baseball has funded an endowment that will annually distribute 44 scholarships in honor of Hank Aaron's legendary jersey number (44). Amounts of up to $2,500 will be awarded to select Club members annually, with the exact amount based on the development plan created by the local Boys & Girls Club that nominates each young person. The annual scholarships are renewable each year until the Club member graduates from high school. Miller will utilize his scholarship to fund his team registration, yearly fees and swimming equipment.

"We are very proud of Jared and his pursuit to become an Olympic swimmer," said Will Gunn, President and CEO, BGCGW. "Through this scholarship opportunity, Jared will be able to swim competitively and chase his dream until it becomes a reality."

The HACDP will be administered by a BGCA and HACDP endowment committee, including representatives from HACDP board, BGCA and Major League Baseball.

Special thanks to the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation for contributing this report.