Baseball Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera debuts mentorship program in Gainesville

Rivera opens first of three nationwide mentorship programs
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 11:50 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - As the greatest closer in the history of Major League Baseball, Mariano Rivera achieved some of his most memorable moments in life on the diamond. Wednesday afternoon, Rivera possibly etched his best moment into history by opening the Mariano Rivera Mentorship Program at Ignite Life Center.

The five-time World Series champion has been best friends with the church’s pastor since they met in Tampa, when Rivera first entered the New York Yankees minor league system as a twenty-year-old kid from Panama. Since then, the two remained close friends and developed the plan to open the mentorship program during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Rivera was on-site for today’s ribbon cutting ceremony, which not only included opening the brand new mentorship program, but also the new office space that will allow kids in the program a safe location to learn with top of the line technology, study programs, and many more amenities.

Pictures of Rivera in his Yankees uniform, along with snapshots of the 51-year-old helping other people were displayed throughout the main hall way. There were four smaller rooms connected to the main lobby, which featured intimate study areas with tables, chairs, book shelves, among other things.

In the back room was a long white table featuring a number of sockets and outlets for various tech gadgets to plug and connect to.

Six local kids from Santa Fe High School were chosen as the first to be apart of the Yankee Legend’s mentorship program. The teenagers said they’ll use the technology to help their future in graphic design and other vocational occupations.

Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader has been helping underprivileged youth since he started the Mariano Rivera Foundation in 1998. Since then, his philanthropic efforts have helped shape the lives of less-fortunate children into ones of success, by offering college scholarships, vocational training, and many more services.

This is the first of three planned mentorship programs Rivera will open up in the U.S. The next two will debut in New York and Houston, Tx.

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