Grand Slam Foundation’s mission is to provide children and youth with healthy and safe alternatives in organized sports and through a variety of complementary programs and services in order to assist these young people in achieving their goals on and off the field.
Grand Slam was born through the recognition of the many benefits participation in sports can have on children and youth. Participation in organized sports provides an opportunity for young people to increase their physical activity while making valuable contributions to physical, social and emotional skill development and well-being.
Grand Slam combines a powerful sense of social consciousness, cultural relevance, and program innovation in developing initiatives and services designed to meet the full range of these youth’s needs. Grand Slam’s distinct position lies in its efforts to meet urban youth needs by anchoring its program offerings in organized sports such as baseball and softball. Organized sports serve not only as a facilitator of physical, social, and emotional development but also as a way to attract and engage youth participants in critical interventions that will lead to their personal, academic and professional development and thus their success as members of the community.
Its Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Belkis Lora set the overall direction of the Grand Slam Foundation. Ms. Lora is a single mother who has been working hands-on with Bronx families and their children for the past ten years. During this time, she has coached many little league baseball teams and came to learn first-hand that these groups of families and children needed many other resources in order to be able to achieve their goals of offering children opportunities to be successful off and on the field. She therefore set out to build an indoor batting cage so that children and their families did not have to travel long distances in order to access these types of practice facilities. With the help of many volunteers she developed year-round sports training clinics. She also developed a series of tournaments so that youngsters would have an opportunity to showcase their athletic ability and talent at a local, state and international level. Lora also saw the need to provide youth with workshops or activities that would not only allow them to succeed academically but also to build their self-esteem, character and discipline.