Club members awarded scholarships to chase their dreams

Long before Hank Aaron became known as one of the most iconic players in the history of Major League Baseball, he was a kid who humbly lived in Mobile, Alabama, with a passion for the game and aspirations to one day play professionally. Fast forward to 1982 and he’s now known as the “Hammer” and being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his successful 30-year career and, at the time, record-breaking 755 home runs. Hank Aaron attributed much of his success to the people who invested in him along the way and helped him achieve his full potential. As a result, Hank Aaron and his wife Billye established the Chasing The Dream Foundation in 1994 in hopes of inspiring Boys & Girls Club members with exceptional abilities and modest upbringings to develop their talent and pursue their passions in a variety of areas from sports to the performance arts.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County is proud to recognize three outstanding Club members who are current recipients of the Hank Aaron Chasing The Dream Scholarship including Rickey Tedesco from the Robert and Joan Lee Boys & Girls Club, as well as, Laela Price and Isaiah Levine from the Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club. Each of these Club members will receive $3,500 each year until they graduate from high school to help them chase their dreams.

Meet Rickey: 

Age: 17
School: Venice High School
Dream: Performer

“I’ve had a passion to perform ever since I was little from singing on stage to playing an instrument or dancing. The Hank Aaron scholarship is absolutely amazing because it is preparing me for a future career as a performer. The scholarship allows me to take music, vocal and dance lessons, and from that, I’ve gained so much stage confidence and have had more opportunities to perform for a variety of audiences from local charities to national competitions. I’m going to be auditioning for American Idol in Orlando this August!”

Meet Laela:

Age: 13
School: Murdock Middle School
Dream: Volleyball Player

“I’ve been playing volleyball since I was 9-years-old. Being a Hank Aaron scholar means the world to me, and helps me become a leader both on and off the court. With this scholarship, I’m able to attend more camps and travel to tournaments with my Club team. Plus, I love my coaches because they push me to be the best setter I can be!”

Meet Isaiah: 

Age: 13
School: Port Charlotte Community Christian School
Dream: Basketball Player

“The Hank Aaron scholarship is a blessing for me and my family, especially coming from a single-parent home. With this support and my dad’s encouragement, I’m able to train morning, noon and night and build my speed, strength, agility and mentality. My dream is to play ball at Duke University after high school graduation.”