On Wednesday, May 22, former President Barack Obama made a very important visit to the Nationals Youth Academy in Washington, D.C., where he showed off his athletic abilities with dozens of surprised kids.
The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy is a nonprofit foundation created to "foster character development, academic achievement, and improved health among underserved youth in D.C."
The academy, which is affiliated with the major league team, offers baseball and softball coaching for more than 100 D.C. kids in grades three through eight. The academy also provides D.C. youth with academic support and nutrition information.
Although the staff knew Obama would be joining the children for the day, the kids were completely unaware. When Obama showed up to the after-school program in Fort Dupont, the attendees displayed nothing short of “unencumbered excitement,” Tal Alter, the Youth Academy’s executive director, told the DCist.
“I think a lot of adults probably felt similarly, but held themselves together a bit more,” Alter added.
While at the academy, Obama tossed a touchdown to a young boy who was celebrated by the rest of the kids. He then headed to the baseball diamond, where he effortlessly hit a double on his first try.
“One pitch and he hit it,” Alter told the DCist. “If he had to give the highlight of his time there, it might have been that.”
After a day full of activities, the former president picked up a bag of groceries from the academy’s fresh produce market and delivered an inspiring speech to all the youth.
"You know when I see what you guys are doing, I think everybody here, if you guys work hard, work hard in school, listen to your coaches, you guys are going to do great things," Obama told the group. "So I'm going to be on the lookout for you because I think you're going to do something important. You guys are going to make a real difference, we're going to be really proud of you."
(Photo: Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy)