Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Launches Uncommon Athlete Program at Five High Schools in Dallas


UnitedHealthcare funding the student-athlete development program to inspire 1,000 youth both on and off the field

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation today concluded the two-day launch of the Uncommon Athlete program at five Dallas-area high schools. The season-long program will encourage 1,000 student-athletes to use their platform as athletes to better themselves both on and off the field.

The Uncommon Athlete program, developed jointly by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and Rachel’s Challenge, focuses on the crucial role coaches play in the development of youth as athletes, and into men and women who have the power to become catalysts for positive change in their community. UnitedHealthcare, through its participation in CBS EcoMedia’s WellnessAd program, is providing $74,000 in funding to support the Uncommon Athlete program.

“It’s great to be back in Texas, where we can continue to provide local youth with the tools to make a difference in their communities,” said Steve Salem, president of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. “None of this would be possible without the continued support and generosity of our partners at UnitedHealthcare, CBS EcoMedia and Rachel’s Challenge. Together, we can continue to empower our youth athletes to be the best versions of themselves.”

Representatives from the Ripken Foundation, UnitedHealthcare and CBS EcoMedia launched the Uncommon Athlete program at Carter, Pinkston, Roosevelt, Skyline and Woodrow Wilson high schools. In addition to the program curriculum, each of the five schools received an equipment donation to use with the program.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to support the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation’s Uncommon Athlete program and its work that encourages young people to use their position as student athletes to change their community for the better,” said Tom Quirk, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Texas.

Since 2011, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has worked with communities throughout the state to bring its baseball- and softball-themed programming to underserved youth, including three multipurpose, youth development parks in Houston and Hutto, Texas, two of which are adaptive fields to provide children with special needs a safe place to play and grow.

This project is the latest in UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” employee volunteer initiative, whose mission is to inspire service and encourage volunteerism. For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or “like” Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook. 

About the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF)

For the last 14 years, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has worked tirelessly to implement youth development programs that directly address the problems facing at-risk youth in distressed circumstances across the country. Inspired by one of the most iconic baseball families, the Ripken’s created the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to honor the legacy of its family patriarch, longtime coach, and mentor, Cal Ripken, Sr. The Ripken Foundation use sports-themed programs to bring police officers, youth partners and underserved kids ages 8 to 14 together on a level playing field to learn invaluable life skills.

In addition, the Ripken Foundation’s Youth Development Park Initiative creates clean, safe places for kids to play on multi-purpose, synthetic surface fields that promote healthy living in an outdoor recreational facility. In just four years, the Ripken Foundation has created 50 completed parks in 16 different states, impacting over 220,000 kids annually. In 2015, the Ripken Foundation aims to impact over 1 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Parks and mentor programs.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

About CBS EcoMedia Inc.

At EcoMedia, we’re propelled by the desire to create positive social change; that’s been our mission since we founded the company in 2002.  In 2010, after successfully partnering with CBS on a wide range of environmental projects, EcoMedia became the newest addition to the CBS Corporation portfolio, exponentially scaling our reach across television, radio, interactive, publishing and outdoor media.

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