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Press Release

05/24/2011 5:50 PM ET
Francisco, Howard, Rollins and Victorino honor local high school Action Team captains
Players recognize 12 student leaders in national program to encourage youth volunteerism

PHILADELPHIA -- During an on-field ceremony prior to Tuesday nightÂ’s game, Phillies players Ben Francisco, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino will represent all Major Leaguers when they honor 12 area high school students serving as Action Team captains. The Action Team is a national youth volunteer program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers. During the 2010-11 school year, these Action Team captains raised awareness about the importance of community involvement among other students in their high schools and organized volunteer activities.

Receiving signed certificates of achievement from the players tonight are Action Team captains Marcella Gottshall, Megan Kirschling, Stephen Marchunt, William Simpler and Erika Spague from West Deptford (N.J.) High School and Natalie Bryson, Devin Dina, Sean Graser, Justin Johnson, Jason Proietto, Samantha Rodriguez and Sean Smith from Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter High School. Also, Justin Johnson from Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter High School will receive a $1,500 college scholarship from the Major League Baseball Players Trust in recognition of his commitment to community service.

Administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the Action Team program encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. To date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 26,000 high school students across the country to help over 111,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities. An award-winning Action Team service-learning curriculum created by the Players Trust in partnership with I Classroom Edition teaches valuable community service skills to 1 million high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the country. The Association of Educational Publishers presented this innovative service-learning program with a 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award.

Action Teams are at work in 162 high schools across the country and Puerto Rico. Each month during the school year, Action Team captains participate in a conference call hosted by legendary broadcaster George Grande, where a Major Leaguer and a featured Action Team of the Month discuss the importance of community service and share volunteering tips and ideas. High schools interested in joining the Action Team can receive applications and additional information by visiting or by sending an email request to

Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit and visit the Players Trust Channel on YouTube at