BOSTON - Ten BIDMC "Medical Champions" and their seventh grade "Red Sox Scholars" were each joined by a Red Sox player as they jogged onto the field at Fenway Park Sunday, June 10, for the pregame Induction Ceremony celebrating a 10-year partnership to help academically talented and financially challenged students aim high for their college education.
"It was both an honor and a privilege to participate in the 2012 Red Sox Scholars Induction Ceremony at Fenway Park," said Medical Champion Catherine Cheney, MD, Gastroenterology."I was quite impressed with the 10 new scholars who all exhibited exceptional poise and maturity, well beyond their years. The pleasure of meeting these extraordinary students was definitely the highlight of my day. My mother has been an avid Boston Red Sox fan since 1946 and passed on her love of this team to her children. I sincerely thank BIDMC for its generous support of this wonderful program and the entire Red Sox Foundation for putting it in place."
Now in its 10th year, the Red Sox Scholars Program is presented by BIDMC, the Official Hospital of the Boston Red Sox and Red Sox Nation, and sponsor of the program since its inception in 2003. The Red Sox Foundation provides up to $10,000 in college scholarships while BIDMC's Medical Champions offer exposure to the world of science and health care, guidance and friendship.
"This is such a phenomenal event and we're so honored to be part of this program," said Kevin Tabb, MD, President and CEO. "These kids are a real inspiration. They're an inspiration to us and we hope that we can give back and inspire them in return."
Tabb was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, along with two of the Scholars. At the last minute, he handed the baseball to his 13 year old son, Noam, who was sporting a new Dustin Pedroia T-shirt, to throw the pitch - a strike - right down the middle.
Sharing moments like these, it's safe to say that father and son, recently transplanted from California, are now official members of Red Sox Nation.
Before the ceremony, Lois Gordon, a Class of 2003 Scholar now studying sociology on the pre-law track at Wheaton College, spoke to the incoming Class of 2012.
"Scholars, you should be extremely proud of yourselves right now," said Gordon. "You were each chosen because you are unique. The Red Sox saw something in you that singled you out and made them want to invest in your future. Every scholar in this room has the potential to be amazing at whatever you decide to do. Medical Champions, your commitment to us as students is the beginning of an amazing relationship. You have no idea how much your presence here makes a difference. Volunteering your time and sharing your medical experience makes us even more ahead of the game. We appreciate you and your commitment to be a part of our journey."
There are currently 220 Red Sox Scholars in the Red Sox Foundation, including this year's new class. In addition to the scholarships, the program provides access to mentoring from Red Sox Foundation staff members, tutoring and other after school and summer enrichment activities and assistance with college application process when the students are in their final years of high school. BIDMC will also host the scholars for a special "shadow day" event, which in the past has included hands-on instruction in the Carl J. Shapiro Simulation Skills Center and tours of the NICU.
"We are excited to honor the new class of Red Sox Scholars and a milestone year as we celebrate the tenth anniversary of this important program," said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. "We have enjoyed getting to know many of these children starting when they were middle school students as they have grown to young adulthood. We could not have achieved such success without the continued generosity of our partners at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and commitment from both Mayor Menino and Boston School Superintendent Carol Johnson."
In addition to BIDMC, the Red Sox Scholars program is generously supported by grants from The Highland Street Foundation, The Sunshine Lady Foundation, Target, the Peter Lynch Foundation and the Klarman Family Foundation as well as fundraising events conducted by the Red Sox Foundation.
In 2010, the Red Sox Scholars program was recognized by Major League Baseball with the first-ever Major League Baseball Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently
ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit