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Class of 2009

Induction at Fenway Park

Twenty-five Boston Public School students were inducted into the Red Sox Scholars Class of 2009 in an on-field ceremony with their BIDMC Medical Champions and Red Sox players at Fenway Park on June 7, 2009. The 25 Scholars, who will enter sixth grade in the fall, are all academically talented, financially challenged middle school students in the Boston Public Schools. Watch a video of the entire ceremony >>

"Red Sox Scholars represent a bright beacon of hope for the future of our community and we are honored to join the Red Sox Foundation and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in introducing this year's new class of Scholars to fans across Red Sox Nation," said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner.

In the ceremony on Sunday prior to the Red Sox vs. Texas Rangers game, each scholar was escorted to the baseline by a Red Sox player and Medical Champion from BIDMC.

"I wanted to be a volunteer mentor so I would have the opportunity to show someone what a great career health care is," said Christine Saba, RN, a clinical nurse specialist. "Being at Fenway with all of the Scholars and their families is an experience I won't soon forget.

"All of the Red Sox players and staff were extremely kind and welcoming to everyone. Walking out onto the field almost seemed unreal. I'm not sure who was more excited, me or my scholar! I am so proud of my scholar, Sofia De La Cruz, because the experience is highly competitive. This is an awesome chance to work with some great kids!"

During the pre-game ceremony, the Red Sox also unveiled a new graphic on the left-field side of the Green Monster wall that highlights the Red Sox Scholars program and the long-standing support provided by BIDMC.

"Each year we are so proud to work with this wonderful group of people on such an innovative program with students from the Boston Public Schools," said President and CEO Paul Levy. "It reflects our commitment to the community along with our partners at the Boston Red Sox."

As in past years, Medical Champions volunteer from across the medical center.

"This is a great opportunity to help a student see that an interest in science can turn into a satisfying career," said Tye Morancy, a physicist in radiation oncology. "I myself didn't always have such resources available to me growing up, only a strong desire to read and learn as much as I could about science. I developed a path my own way and wanted to share that journey somehow with a student just starting down his or her path. I was paired with Benjamin Saint Fort who has such ideals. When I met him I learned how he loved to read and wanted to become a scientist one day. He is a huge Sox fan and was really excited to be meeting the players, not to mention this was to be his first time at a ballgame!"

To top it all off, Benjamin was selected by the Red Sox to help throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game. "He was calm as a cucumber," said Morancy. "We spent some of the downtime discussing the best way to handle the honor. When the time came, he arced a perfect strike! It was the time of his life and I was so glad I was there to see it. We intend to keep in touch and talk about both science and all things Red Sox."

Many Medical Champions find the Fenway event an opportunity for instant bonding and friendship.

"I can't even begin to put into words what an amazing experience it was for me to meet my Red Sox Scholar on Sunday," said Veronica A. Gonzales, a technician in nuclear medicine. "She's an 11-year-old talented, ambitious, gifted, fifth-grader whose goal is to be a surgeon. She has much love and support from her family and friends and I hope she will keep in touch so that I, too, can be of support. I highly recommend that if anyone has the opportunity to participate in something like this, take it! I'm still talking and smiling about it! And, did I mention, I met the Red Sox?"

Posted June 9, 2009

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