Cal Ripken Jr.
Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
Cal Ripken, Jr. has played many roles in his life — baseball legend, American diplomat, best-selling author, radio host on SiriusXM and analyst for TBS Sports during Major League Baseball playoffs.
But he carries on the role of exuberant educator and mentor passed down from his father, Cal Ripken, Sr., as vice-chairman of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.
Founded in 2001, the foundation’s mission is to bolster at-risk youth programs and foster the spirit of education and mentorship in honor of the organization’s namesake.
The foundation has spread its mission across the country and into 43 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, touching the lives of some 1.4 million children through its youth development programs, its child protection tool kit and its youth development parks, just in 2017.
Whether it is setting up STEM curricula and technology centers, addressing the needs of middle-school-aged girls or building multipurpose parks, the focus remains on enhancing the lives and communities of at-risk youth.
And all of it wouldn’t have happened without the leadership of the foundation’s president and CEO, Steve Salem, said Cal Ripken, Jr. “When leadership is strong and your board is truly engaged, it drastically decreases these day to day challenges.”
These challenges include the need for funding and staying true to the mission at hand, Ripken said.
“You want to do it all, but you need to keep your mission top of mind and sometimes make difficult choices. Discipline is key,” Ripken said.